Your son will also want to file for custody or visitation and in order to do so, if his name is not on the birth certificate, he will need to file a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. This will subject him to child support obligations most likely. He may also want to submit either with the petition or if and when it's contested, some sort of evidence that he no longer has a substance abuse problem that may have an effect on the court's determination of what is in the best interests of the child. You may want to consult a family law attorney to assist you with both your petition for visitation as well as your son's. Best of luck.
Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.
You haven't mentioned that your son and the mother of the child are married, so I will assume they are not. Your son should file an action under Massachusetts Chapter 209C or 209 (you should investigate with the help of a lawyer to determine which one is appropriate). He should then request an order for unsupervised visits by way of a motion for temporary orders (or he can seek custody if he feels that is achievable and he wants that). He may have to jump through some hoops by way of a court-ordered investigation given his history. That is, the court can order the Probation Office to investigate, or the Court Clinic (in Middlesex County) or a Guardian ad Litem (which is costly). Drug screens may be recommended. He would hope for investigation results that show that he is an appropriate caregiver. Eventually, they both will have to take a Parent-Ed course if such an action is filed. At the very least, to see her soon, he can agree to supervised visits until he is cleared through one of the forms of investigation. He can ask that you be named as the supervisor. For you to get visitation you should continue your efforts throught the Grandparents visitation process. You will want to show that you have had a significant relationship with the child and that your not being able to visit would be harmful to her. A lawyer can help you with the specifics of your request. I hope this helps to get you started.
This is a complex question requiring more facts. For example, how old is the child now? How long was rehab? What drugs were involved? What is obvious through your question is that you believe the Mother is keeping the child from you and your family. The first and best thing you can do is consider the possibility that Mother is simply scared and protective. She has superior rights so fighting with her will simply take you further from your goal.
Your son is the one who should be seeking an order. In many of these cases, the "parent" sees not want to see the child but is being pushed by the grandparent. Although the Court will want to establish a relationship between the parent and child, the Court will always protect the child first. This means drug screens and supervised visitation.
With regard to Grandparent visitation, this has evolved to an examination of the Grandparent's involvement in the child's life. This is why the age of the child is important. If you were actively involved with the child up until the age of 5 months, whether the child is now six months or six years old will make a big difference to the Court and to your case.
Talk to an experienced attorney regarding this situation.
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