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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 101939
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I have had custody of my 2 year old granddaughter for a year

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I have had custody of my 2 year old granddaughter for a year and a half. Yesterday, mom and herdad showed up on our doorstep and are taking her back to Anchorage today! Please tell me ther is something I can do!
Hello,



Welcome to JustAnswer and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow up questions and my answers because I may be helping other clients or taking a break.



I am sorry for your situation. May I ask if the custody was formal (i.e. via the court) or informal (as in an agreement between the grown-ups)? If it was formal, was it temporary or permanent?



Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Informal. Mom wanted to give daughter up for adoption. Both sets of grandparentstalked her out of this. No one could take care of her, so we took custody. She has lived with us for nearly her whole life and suddenly they are taking her back. Is ther anything that can be done to prevent this at least for now?
Thank you - and what state are you in please - also Alaska?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, we are in New Mexico
Thank you. The tricky part here is - do you have standing, since you are a third-party and not immediate parents, and the parents are available? Generally, No. Except, the court may grant custody to a third-party as the result of finding of abuse and neglect by the child's parents or current guardian. Abuse and neglect proceedings are generally initiated by the Department of Children Youth and Families, but they can be initiated by the third-party seeking custody, but it can be initiated by you as well. Since the child has lived with you for so long, you may file a petition in your family court to keep the child and become its guardians. The Court would decide based 'on the best interest of the child,' including:




(1) the wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to his custody;


(2) the wishes of the child as to his custodian;


(3) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with his parents, his siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;


(4) the child’s adjustment to his home, school and community; and


(5) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved. Also, if the child is 14 years or older, the court will consider his or her wishes.

(New Mexico Statutes - Article 4 - Sections: 40-4-9, 40-4-9.1)

So you'd have to file in court for custody, and also get temporary orders giving it to you while the matter is pending. Please let me know if you need help finding an attorney.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you unless you press ACCEPT.



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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

We can meet those requirements, but is there any way I can prevent them from leaving today? Also, how do I file for temp custody?

Hello,



You can ATTEMPT to do so by filing a Petition for Temporary Orders (for custody) and including an 'ex-parte' motion, meaning to have it heard immediately, without them even being served at first. There would have to be cause for real danger/neglect to the child.



It is very hard to file pro se (without an attorney) so I would recommend using an attorney. It is very hard to do it pro se - no pre-filled forms exist for this type of an action online, I am sorry.



Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So even if the child does not want to go I have to let her? Please clarify and then we can proceed. I appreciate your time but want to be sure ther is nothing I can do to prevent her being taken back to Anchorage

Correct - the child's preference is taken into consideration but is NOT the deciding factor. Judges know that sometimes, children will want to live with the adult that allows them the most freedom but is not necessarily the best custodian, so while the children's preference is noted, it does not define the judgment for custody. This does not mean you won't be successful, but just that the child's preference alone will not be enough.

I hope you found my answer helpful, and if so please click on the ACCEPT button. This is the only way for me to get credit for my work; I receive no credit for my time with you unless you press ACCEPT.



If you still need to clarify something or seek more information, just use the INFO button and I’d be more than happy to follow up to your satisfaction! There is no fee for follow up questions before or after an accept, should you wish to continue in the thread, and I encourage you to do so should you need clarification!



While the legal system tries to be inclusive of every possibility, sometimes, people are morally wronged but have limited legal avenues to seek relief. If so, please understand that this is not the expert’s fault, but the way of circumstance.



If you feel that I went an extra step to help, a bonus is always appreciated!



You can always request me for a future advice through my profile at http://www.justanswer.com/profile.aspx?PF=7286322&FID=7 If you do this, make sure to begin the question with “This Question is for Eli…”













Ely and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you Eli. Can you tell me how to proceed then with custody? Do you do referrals?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your help. At least I know some of the ground rules. Please let me know if you can recommend an attorney to help with this.
Hello - sorry for the wait. Please try the NM Bar Referral - the attorneys are vetted and qualified:



http://www.nmbar.org/Public/referralprograms.html

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you
You are most certainty welcome and I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor.