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Thread: dad..unfit grandparent trying to take custody North Carolina

  1. #1

    Default dad..unfit grandparent trying to take custody North Carolina

    i have custody at the moment and ive had it for almost three years, my daughter is four and for the first year her grandmother had custody. i was 17 when all this started, and her grandmother filed papers and made a list of allegations and was awarded temporary custody...after that i got custody and she got visitation except now shes acted in several ways that would deem her unfit so i limited her visitation to supervised, wich the order previously granted her unsupervised, she says im in contempt and made false allegations that im not properly taking care of my daughter an that custody be awarded back to her, so were back at court.......if shes found unfit will her visitation rights be taken away?....will the court give her custody?...also im engaged and my fiance wants to adopt her when we get married...will her grandmother have any rights then?.......and my daughters biological mother has already been found unfit if that makes a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by im_rich_1985 View Post
    i have custody at the moment and ive had it for almost three years, my daughter is four and for the first year her grandmother had custody. i was 17 when all this started, and her grandmother filed papers and made a list of allegations and was awarded temporary custody...after that i got custody and she got visitation except now shes acted in several ways that would deem her unfit so i limited her visitation to supervised, wich the order previously granted her unsupervised, she says im in contempt and made false allegations that im not properly taking care of my daughter an that custody be awarded back to her, so were back at court.......if shes found unfit will her visitation rights be taken away?....will the court give her custody?...also im engaged and my fiance wants to adopt her when we get married...will her grandmother have any rights then?.......and my daughters biological mother has already been found unfit if that makes a difference.
    You had no right to change the visitation to supervised, you are in contempt. You haven't stated what the gm did that you determine to be "unfit"....Or if you have any HARD proof.

    Unless bio-moms rights have been terminated by a court, than your fiancé can't adopt.

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    How in the heck did a 17 year old girl adopt a child in the first place?
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjeff View Post
    How in the heck did a 17 year old girl adopt a child in the first place?
    I thought this was the father .....but you could be right...hummm...ambiguity...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjeff View Post
    How in the heck did a 17 year old girl adopt a child in the first place?
    I am thinking that a 17 year old BOY had a child with a girl of unknown age here and that's girl's mother (grandmother in question) got custody until one of them was able to grow up. In this case, the boy grew up and took care of his responsibility.

    Although he doesn't have a right to deny visitation himself, do you have a change in court orders? If not, she is right and you need to file to change custody if you feel there is an issue.

  6. #6

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    so if her grandmother is acting in ways that can cause my daughter harm, im supposed to let her be brought into these situations until they can be brought into court...doesnt that violate my right to ensure my daughters saftey?...at a point in this case we had joint custody......then the grandmother and her husband engaged in acts of domestic violence while my daughter was present, wich papers were taken out on each other,she comited herself to a mental hospital shortley after this... her husband had no rights and my daughters mother was already considered unfit..the nieghbor informed me what was going on and i picked up my daughter and filed papers against the grand mother...wich at this point she tryed to say i was in contenpt for not letting her take her back.. we went to court she gave up and turned over custody to me before the hearing..after this she was allowed visitation but she came to my home to see her..she informed me that her husband was stalking her an that he was trying to run her off the road and that her husband took papers out on her for breaking and entering hi s torage unit ...then she overdosed on alcohol and sleeping pills..i no longer allowed her unsupervised visitation and she took papers out on me again...i responded with every thin i just said and she withdrew and we never had a hearing... then she moved to others states wich she had a relaionship out side of her marriage.....she had no contact with us for eight months ..then her and her husband got back together...now she wants to see my daughter over night every weekend..... i told her no that she could come visit her until i could see that they were doing ok so she agreed and visited my daughter at my house wich went well.. she did this for almost every weekend for a month wich i felt was a little too much considering she try to just jump back in the picture but i allowed it anyway....she asked every weekend if her husband could see her i said ok that he could come by and visit the next time she came.. everything went well at that visit.. then she asked if she could take her for a few hours on her next visit....i didnt think it was a good idea.. but i let her any way my only request was that she didnt allow contact with her bio mother.. she agreed and claimed that she didnt think it was a good idea for her to be around her..she took her for a few hours on two different weekends and everything seemed ok.... on the third she asked if she could take her to church and get her pictures taken later that day i said ok... later that day she called to inform me that she was at a resturaunt eating and that she didnt get her pictures taken...she drops my daughter off and leaves without really talking about what happened that day (wich she normally does) the next night my daughter tells me that she has a new friend and says her bio moms name wich she doesnt know her so she wouldnt know her name... i confront the grandmother the next day and she denies it.. i tell her that until we can figure out what really happend she couldnt take her unsupervised.. i told her she could come by or we could meet her some where if shes not comfortable visiting at my house... she freaks out starts crying and says that im not being fair and that shes taking me to court..this was in november last week i recieved a notice where she claims that im neglecting my daughter and that the court should award her custody. my daughter is in perfect health and her medical records show this.... this order shes not asking the court to find me in contempt for restricting visitation but the last one that she withdrew from did.......im 21 my fiance is 19 and weve been together for almost four years my daughter calls her mom and shes the only mom she knows... they have an extremely close relationship.. the kind a mother and daughter are supposed to have...we planned to get married this spring but we cant afford it now that were going back to court....she plans to adopt her after we get married........

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    All of that stuff you just said.... you need to tell it to the judge. You need to prove it to a court. But UNTIL that time, if Grandma is suppoed to have regular visits, and you just decided to make them supervised, then you are in fact in contempt. You are not allowed to deem her unfit. Only a judge can do that.

    If the grandmother is a danger to the child, you can request an emergency change in visitation. But you cannot just decide on your own. The law just doesn't work that way. If you insist on interfering with the visitation order, then it can play out badly for your attempt to have sole custody (of that is what you are trying for).

    Also, you said that the Grandmother was taking care of the child for the first year, but have the mother's rights acually been terminated? Not just that she has no visitation, but that she has legally been stripped of her rights? I would guess the answer is no. I am asking because your girlfriend cannot just adopt the child after you are married. Step-parent adoption is a very long process, and even when the parent whose rights you are trying to terminate is an addict, it's just not that easy. And especially since the child has developed a bond with her maternal grandmother, you would have a very long road to travel before step-parent adoption is even an option.

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    she verbally agreed to the supervised visitation at first concidering her past history with her husband and her own personal problems then she wanted to change it......how does that play in the court?

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    Quote Originally Posted by im_rich_1985 View Post
    she verbally agreed to the supervised visitation at first concidering her past history with her husband and her own personal problems then she wanted to change it......how does that play in the court?
    If you never went to court to change the order, then the verbal agreement is non-binding. You have to go before a judge and change a court order in order for that change to be legal. Therefore, you are in violation of the court order.

    What about the bio-mother? Are her rights terminated, or does she just have no visitatin order? Because without her rights terminated, if she cleans up her act, she is well within her rights to petition for visitation.

  10. #10

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    the last order says that visitation should be liberal and on a regular basis as can be arranged between the parties?(wich she chose not to vist regularly) it doesnt say that it has to be unsupervised ..if we arranged it that way wouldnt that be binding?


    the bio mom has rights but im going to ask for them to be terminated at this hearing.. shes has aanother child that the grandmother has taken from her and she lost rights to it.....shes never been a problem just the grandmother..shes glad that we have her.

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    It would specify that it is supervised, not the other way around. If it actually says "liberal and on a regular basis," that means without supervision. It would NOT have to specifically say "unsupervised" in order for the visits to be unsupervised. Rather, it would have to specifically have to say "supervised" in order for you to force supervised visits. See?

    It does not matter that she didn't take the visitation liberally. She wants it now. It only matters what the order says. You should have requested the order be changed back when SHE agreed to supervised visits. Since you didn't, she can ask that you comply with the order, and you have to.

    Bio-Mom's rights likely will not be terminated. This, just like the step parent adoption, is a long process. You cannot just ask and have a judge say "ok" during a hearing on visitation to which bio-Mom isn't even a party. You have to petition for that seperately.

    Once you are married (for 6 months to a year, depending on the statutes in your state), if bio-Mom chooses to terminate her rights, then your future wife can adopt. But until there is someone who can legally take the mother's place, a court won't terminate her rights. Children have a right to both parents. And with the Grandmother is involved, you may have a hard time terminating her (Grandma's) visitation rights to the child.

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    a judge will not just terminate the mother's rights without someone else there to take them. The law feels that each child must have 2 legal parents. Does bio mom pay any support, etc? Your best bet is to ask for supervised visitation with grandma due to past issues- document and get proof. You cannot tell her she can't take her to see bio mom unless court says she can't. if she has unsupervised visitation, she has the right to decide who she sees and doesn't. Do you want her telling you who you can allow the child to see? You need to get proof of any domestic violence, etc that has been filed on grandma. The fact that the order is vague and that you all have been doing supervised could help to continue supervised, but maybe not. Judges do not like their orders being disobeyed.

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    i believe her bio mom will sign over rights own her own without the court...she is a party, she has to appear at this hearing.. shes glad that i have her but she wont go against her mom because she lives with her and she has her other child.. the grandmothers not asking for unsupervised visitation at this point shes asking for sole custody...personally i dont think shes concerned about my daughter at all....before she got back with her husband she didnt have anything to do with her, she just disappeard..he doesnt have any rights so hes going through her....wich at the time they were fighting she said he was trying to run her off the road..the she admitted she was just saying that so i wouldnt let him see her.. not to mention the finacial theory...one of her friends was a foster parent.. foster parents get all kinds of help from the gov. medicad, wic daycare, and on top of that the stepdad gets social security disability checks....hes supposed to be in a wheelchair and hes not..but any ways they would get an additional check for any foster child in their care..if i question their intentions will that help sway the judges decisions?

    i have documentation on the dometic violence and the overdose

    i also have medical records that say she suffers from depression, bipolar dissorder, anxiety,and insomnia........wich the court found this not to be aproblem since there was no evidence that she had a problem taking her meds....but now shes overdosed on sleeping pills

    and she admitted to doing cocaine in the past...which last year her brother got busted with cocaine in her car and he was at her house on one of her last unsupervised visitations

    i know the adoption thing is going to take time im just concerned wether or not the court will grant her custody?

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    Honsetly, I am confused about which woman you are talking about, Mom or Grandma.

    If you have proof that Grandma has domestic violence issues, then yes, that is something to present to the court during this upcoming hearing on visitation with Grandma. Unless you can prove that the overdose was not an accident, I'm not sure that matters.

    If she were to get sole custody, that is not the same as being a foster parent. She wouldn't get the same benefits that foster parents get, but she would be entitled to child support from the child's parents. However, I don't think Grandma has a case for sole custody unless she can PROVE that YOU are an unfit parent.

    Questioning the Grandparent's motives probably will not sway the judge either way. You are on two different sides, so of course you question their intentions. They probably question yours.

    Finally -- even IF bio-Mom wants to terminate her rights, it still won't happen NOW. You cannot ask at this upcoming hearing on visitation to have Mom's rights terminated. You have to file a completely different action, and even with her cooperation, a judge will not agree until there is someone who can take over her parental responsibilities. So, as I said, you have to be married, probably for 6 months to a year.

    Also, even if it is voluntary, if the bio-Mom has a history of drug abuse, that will make it even HARDER to terminate her rights. Sounds crazy, I know. BUT, a judge won't terminate her rights until it can be proven that she is making that choice of a sound mind and a free will. If her decision making abilities are clouded by drug abuse, a judge won't terminate her rights until she is clean for a specified amout of time (likely at least one year).

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    my previous info was on the grandmother but my daughters bio mom has a lot of the same problems just on a larger scale. as far as proving me unfit she cant the only thing she has is that i limited her visitation and that i dont have health insurance wich the court ordered but i pay all of her bills in cash ...i make too much money to quallify for medicaid or health choice

    if the judge wont let her terminate her own rights then how did the grandmother get the other child? she got the other last year
    Last edited by im_rich_1985; 02-10-2007 at 01:53 PM.

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    she may have just signed over her custody to the grandma. Unless grandma adopted the child. does that father have any legal right to the child. As said- do not ask mom's rights to be terminated at this trial- u will lose as there is no one you are married to that can accept those rights at this point. Grandma is going to have to prove you unfit in order to take custody. Lack of health insurance is not going to do it unless you are denying the child medical care because of it. You being in contempt of court could, but it normally takes more than 1 finding of contempt especially considering grandma's past. You need to ask for a dismissal of the custody suit as it has no basis and ask to modify grandma's visitation to supervised and set a schedule. does momma have any visitation rights?

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    She doesn't seem to have enough to change custody, but you are in fact in violation of TWO court orders, and that is contempt. You may be fined for that.

    She probably cannot prove you unfit, and since she AGREED to the supervised visitation, you may be able to get that. But the fact is, you never changed the order, so you are breaking it. That's all there is to it. However, her history of domestic violence may make it so that you may now receive supervised visits.

    Also, if the court ordered you to carry health insurance and you are not doing so, you are in contempt of that order as well. That certainly isn't enough to change custody, but you really need to abide by court orders. Besides, if something were to happen to that child, for example, if she breaks a bone that requires surgery, paying cash won't cut it. You really do not want to find out the hard way how expensive doctor's bills can be. And the court ordered you to provide health insurance. Why are you not doing so?

    The Grandmother has guardianship of the other child (as she had with yours). Taking guardianship from a biological parent is not the same as terminating their rights. It means Mom is currently unfit or unable to take care of the child, but she is still the child's legal mother. Once your rights are terminated, you are no longer a legal parent, but rather, become a legal STRANGER to the child. Unless YOU have a court order that says bio-Mom cannot see the child, then she can see the child when she is at Grandma's house. She can also petiton for her own visitation. The courts will always give parents the chance to clean up their acts and act like parents, because their children deserve it.

    Like I said, if you want to terminate bio-Mom's rights, that is a completely different action that you will have to petition for, and bio-Mom will have the right to fight it.

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    Default My Advice

    1. Get the insurance before going before the judge. It won't matter that you pay everything in cash, the ins. is court ordered.
    2. Get a lawyer.

    3 In My opinion, you should try to cover all your concerns at once in the one hearing, it will lead to the best outcome for everyone that way. If the mothers' rights have not been taken away by the courts make a deal with her to let your fiance adopt once you've actually been married for a while (1 year or more) She can sign if you are all willing to work together.

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    Again, though, you cannot bring up termination of bio-Mom's rights, though. You can mention that you plan to seek it, but you can't actually ask for the motion. If you do, the judge will just tell you that you need to petition for that. You need to file the petition for termination of rights, have her served, then go to a scheduled hearing specifically for termination of rights. Mom is entitled to seek counsel and respond to the petition. Termination of Mom's rights cannot and will not be covered at a hearing for visitation with the grandmother. They are seperate issues.

    Also, remember that even if she AGREES to terminate her rights, if she is somehow impaired (even due to her own illegal drug use), chances are the termination will not take place. That would leave the door wide open for her to appeal the termination once she cleans up her act. The court will want to make sure that a voluntary termination of Mom's rights are done of her own free will while she is clear and level headed.

    Another poster on this site is going on several years trying to get her child's bio-Dad's rights terminated, and part of the reason I believe is that he is an alcoholic. The courts won't terminate his rights because he has a "disease" of alcoholism. Same story with drug use.

  20. #20

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    the grandmother adopted the other child and i have a lawyer i just want to make sure shes doing everything she can do..

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    Does your lawyer know that you are in contempt of two court orders?

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    yes, she's been handling my case for the last 4 years

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    I would say it sounds like you have it all under control. Just know that you may face a fine for being in contempt of two orders, and you may have to allow unsupervised visits for Grandma (although the domestic violence thing is a biggy -- what kind of proof do you have?). You should just go ahead and request the supervised visits.. the worst that can happen is the judge says no. I would request sole custody with supervised visits for Grandma.

    Also, you should really see about securing insurance for your daughter. Trust me, even when you have to purchase private insurance, which can be very expensive, it will be worth it. I had to buy my own benefits for my son for two years. In that time, he only had ONE visit to the doctor other than regular well checkups, for pink eye. And if I hadn't had the insurance, that bill was about double all of my premiums that I had paid combined for him AND for myself. Plus, it is court ordered, and you don't want to make the judge mad. It's not enough to lose custody, but it's not worth the hassle of a finding of contempt, and more than one contempt finding COULD equal bad news for your attempt for sole custody.

  24. #24

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    i already have sole custody control and care ..maybe in a different order but you get the point...and i have copies of the papers that were filed, i just have to get copies of the findings and i have photos where the grand father assaulted the bio mom and the papers she took out on him...along with past medical records which i need to update i dont have the records for the mental hospital or the overdose...when i mention that in my motion she gave up and it was never discussed in the court...maybe ill get lucky again..we've been scheduled for mandatory mediation i think shes just trying to scare me into giving in for her demands for unsupervised overnight visitation....wich i dont think she could get the overnight anyay..my daughter doesnt sleep well at other peoples homes...we tried letting her stay at one of her other grand mothers house and that didnt go so well(she has a closer relationship with this grandma than the one thats taking me to court) but any ways ill quit running on and i thank you guys for the help ill let you know how it goes

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    I have to say, I am totally lost about what you needed help with in the first place!

    What is the hearing for?

    And how do you have copies of someone else's medical records? There are HIPPA laws that would make it illegal for you to introduce someone's private medical records into evidence. And there's not really such a thing as a "mental hospital." It's not really referred to it that way anymore.

    Your domestic violence photos don't involve the Grandmother? I thought she was the one trying for more visitation? Was he convicted (not just arrested) for the domestic violence? Are these police photos? Because if they are not, they only prove she was beat up. And if the charges were dropped, I'm not sure you could use that as evidence. Where does the bio-Mom live?

    It sounds like the environment at Grandma's is enough to get you supervised visits. Just stick to your guns, and if the environment there is really that toxic, they will just keep digging themselves deeper.

  26. #26

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    i had the court ordere her to produce her records, ive been trying to show the court what goes on in their home but they wont take me serious, all three of them took papers out on each other the grand parents and bio mom...if i can make bio mom testify to what the pics indicate then the judge will have to take into consideration of what shes testifying right? i dont know what the outcome of the charges where but ill have my lawyer look into it.

    the grandmothers trying to take custody back......i just wanted to make sure i was on the right path and the my lawyer is doing what she can.......lawyers like to drag out stuff like this to make more money

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    You are on the right track. You may not be able to terminate Grandma's visitation, but you are the father. She will not be able to take custody unless she can prove YOU to be unfit.

    Just make sure you get the medical insurance, and stay away from terms like "mental hospital!"

    Good luck! Please come back and tell us all what happens!

  28. #28

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    thanks for your help...wish i'd found this forum 4 years ago

  29. #29

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    how long would a grandparent and a grandchild have to go without visitation for the court to see that they nolonger have a bond

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    It would probably take a couple of years. And if you keep the child from the Grandparent (not saying you are!), they could argue that you got in the way of the relationship, not them.

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