The problem here is that without getting child protection
involved, I am afraid you would really not have grounds to win any court custody case for the child. The grandmother of the child would have the best chance to try such a case and would have to prove the mother to be incompetent to care for the child. However, if the mother proves she is competent then grandmother would not succeed. The best way to try this is to get the mother to agree to court ordered guardianship
by convincing her that it makes it easier for grandmother to deal with the needs of the child when she is away. Once you can get her to agree to give guardianship in court, then she cannot get that removed unless the court removes it and then grandmother can make her arguments about the mom being not capable of taking back guardianship (this is a bit of a backhanded way of accomplishing this, but it is better than the last resort of using child protection).
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