my grandmother who is 81 and caring for an alzheimers husband the same age at home with her, filed for temporary custody of my two children under the age of ten who were staying with her while i went out of state to find work, and i was not notified. she is refusing to answer my phone calls and is claiming abandonment. i dont know how to find out if i can go pick up my children without going through the court system or to find out anything about the case because it was sequestered. I dont have any money for an attorney and the state of new mexico cant help because i now live in ohio. im at a loss and just want my children back. please help
Firstly, if you were not notified of the case, then you have not been served with the legal action. If you were not served, there is a legal question as to whether or not the case has been properly commenced against you. Also, since you are the biological father of the children, there's no way that the case could proceed without your receiving notice unless it proceeded under false pretenses, based on the assertion that your address was unknown and that there was no way to contact you at the time of filing. Since these are fundamental legal questions which affect your legal rights as to your children, and a change of custody involving same, you should contact legal aid in the state of New Mexico where the case exists, or alternately, contact court directly and ask for court-appointed counsel.
Understand that there is no way that you're going through complex interstate custody litigation by obtaining online advice. You need legal counsel. However, take heart. Your legal rights are superior to those of any third parties, since you are the biological parent. Unless there is something fundamentally wrong with the case itself or with you which would preclude you from acting as custodian, you would normally be first in line to have the children. Nonetheless, you will need to hire an attorney and get into court. Good luck.
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