My son's 26 yr old exgirlfriend passed away suddenly last year and they have a 6 yr old daughter. The mom and my granddaughter had always lived with the maternal grandmother and rather than uproot his child, my son has let her continue to stay with the maternal grandmother. He is involved in her life and sees her often and is working on pulling himself together in order to have her come live with him eventually. Does the grandmother have any legal grounds to prevent my son from being able to do this just becasue the child has always resided with her? He is concerned that she has been able to get some type of temp guardianship/legal custody without him being notified.
Was there ever an Order Establishing Paternity that detailed your son's visitation/time-sharing with the minor child entered? If so, what did it state? Why does your son need to "pull himself together so that the child can come live with him?" Has your son been involved on a consistent basis in the little girl's life? Your son would almost certainly be entitled to have his daughter come and live with her, however, he may have to have an Order Establishing Paternity entered unless Grandma is willing to allow the little girl to come live with him. It's his daughter: plain and simple and Grandma has no legal basis to interfere with his relationship with his daughter. However, the other question that needs to be asked is "what effect would having the little girl suddenly uprooted from her home have upon her?" If your son has been involved with her and in her life, then it shouldn't be traumatic. However, if your son has been an absentee parent and tries to force his way back into her life; that could be very detrimental to the mental well-being of the little girl. As you can see, I do not have nearly the information needed to give you an answer to your question other than to say that it would appear that he has every right to have his daughter come live with him. But the bigger question is whether such a move would be in her best interest and, moreover, if the move is to be made still, what would be the best way to do it so as to minimize the trauma on this poor little girl who lost her mother. Please strongly consider getting counseling for the little girl and perhaps all of the parties who would be involved with such a move. This needs to be handled with the highest level of care as this girl's world has been turned upside down.
Please be advised that any answers or information disseminated above do not constitute legal advice and that the attorney responsible for this posting is merely attempting to participate in a Q & A session intended to be helpful but certainly not intended to be legal advice. It is important that you understand that no attorney-client relationship has been formed and that the attorney has no obligation to follow up with you with your legal issue unless you separately contact said attorney and arrange for him to legally represent you.
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