our 16 (17 in march 2010) granddaughter was in bio-mother custody, step-mother physically abused her, restraining order lifted in oct 2009, she remained with mother. Mother has just passed away and granddaughter is in hiding. She refuses to return to adoptive father & step-mother. How can we protect her - in the meantime father has removed 2 siblings to cali. How do we keep her safe legally?
Family Law Attorney
you need to file a 3rd party custody action in the county where gdaughter is in hiding. If dad is in CA, that gives you something of a tactical adv.
Unfortunately, the standard of proof for prevailing on a 3rd party cust. action is quite high. You have to prove that the bio dad is unfit, or that placing her w/dad will result in actual detriment to her health and well being.
These cases rarely win, but, depending on the facts, it might be best to try
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
Please, first just breathe. You are in the midst of a terrible tragedy and you need to be kind to yourself and to your granddaughter. Emancipation is for teens who are self-sufficient and no longer need to be parented. If your granddaughter doesn't want to deal with her adoptive father and step mother you can go find a local attorney who can do a third-party custody action soon. You might want to consider her siblings, as well. If the father took them to California within the last six months, then WA is their home state and the Court will make him bring them back here.
Your granddaughter may have social security benefits due to her. When you get this under control you'll want to contact the nearest Social Security office to find out.
I am so sorry for your loss. I hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell