I have joint custody of a 2 year with his mother (not related) His mother and his grandmother have tired a few times to take him from me and have not been successful. I just found out that the grandmother wants to get full custody of him? he has lived with me for almost 2 years now. He is part of my family now. Both his mother and grandmother are not fit to take care of a child. the grandmother didnt raise her twin daughters. I know that the grandmother is upset cuz i will no longer do supervised visits are her house. they have put him harms way a few times, plus the drugs in the house is the main reason!
is this something that can happen?
A relative may file for custody; whether or not they will be successful is another thing. The determination will be based always on what the court feels is the best interests of the child. A grandparent has a higher burden to prove, however, before the court even considers what is in the child's best interests. A grandparent must show "extraordinary circumstances" to even have the right to have their petition considered. Generally speaking, extraordinary circumstances requires some showing that the child is in serious harm's way by remaining in your care rather than with the grandparent. The mother would be on equal footing as you as a parent, but would still have to show that the child's best interests are served by her having custody. If visits are supervised currently, usually a court does not move directly from that to custody. She will likely have to establish that she is fit for unsupervised contact first before any custody petition would be seriously considered.
As my colleague above recited, a relative, or a third party, can petition but will be burdened by initially being compelled to show “extraordinary circumstances.” On the one hand, it is usually used to show “unfitness” (i.e. drug addled, homeless, prison, death).
Extraordinary Circumstances can also be shown by a long period of time (i.e. 2 years of custody) that would put the child in a position of being traumatized by changing the situation.
From the description above, you allege drugs and “harm’s way” in addition to 2 years of custody. It sounds like it might be a strong case of “extraordinary circumstances.” For all extraordinary circumstance” cases, I recommend retaining an attorney.
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