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I am a Grandparent looking for some guidance on how to get custody and\or temporary custody of my grandchild in Columbia, MD.

Columbia, MD |

My daughter is an alcoholic and continues to drag her daughter from place to place till she either wears out her welcome or decides to go somewhere different. I can't understand how she can do this and have her poor child running around with no stability or the correct care.

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Attorney answers 3


Third party custody cases are tricky even for lawyers. You don't indicate where dad is or why he is not an appropriate parent. Also, if things at that bad, then maybe social services should be involved. If they were to remove the child, they make every effort to place childwith a relative if possible. Before doing anything, an in person consult with a lawyer should take place.

This is not to be considered legal advise and no attorney client has been established.


For you to obtain custody you must prove the mother and father are unfit. Do you have evidence admissible in a court of law sufficiently strong to prove this? If not, then do not go down this road for which there is no U-turn. Once you try to take the child from its mother, you will likely lose any trust from your own daughter, and she might prevent you from seeing your granddaughter ever again. Make sure you have a great chance of winning your case before you start anything. I recommend you consult with an attorney and go over everything.

Office: (410) 381-1656. This is NOT legal advice, is GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY, and does NOT establish an Attorney/Client Relationship with you. Therefore my answer cannot address your specific legal situation and you should not rely upon my answer in your legal matter. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.


My first question is have you approached your daughter about allowing you to have temporary custody of the child? These "informal custody" arrangements are very common and in my mind the best practice. Fir the sake of this answer, however, I will assume that you have and she will just not hear you. I will also assume that since you did not mention a father, he is not in the picture. Your option is then to call child protective services and make a complaint. This will initiate a report and required investigation by CPS. If CPS determines that the child is in danger or neglected, they will take the child from your daughter on a temporary basis and MAY turn your grandchild over to you in your care and custody. I emphasis MAY because they are not required to. If there is a father in the picture and they find him to be a suitable caregiver, they could turn the child over to him or CPS could give the child to you or they may even choose a foster family. If, however, the father is not in the picture, in my experience they usually seek out another family member such as yourself. The arrangement is usually temporary at first to allow your daughter time to seek the help she needs. If she continues on her current path, her parental rights could be terminated and you could seek full custody of your grandchild through the court system. Good luck!

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