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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12235
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My daughter had a son born at 29 months, she was not living

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My daughter had a son born at 29 months, she was not living with the biologial father at the time she delivered the baby. The baby had a very difficult first year but is doing fine. The bio dad is from Japan but lives in the States, he had paternaty test done, she has. physical custody but they share 70-30% her having the 70%. She has been a very wonderful hands on mother but the last few months has been drinking, she wanted help from the alchol and admitted herself into a hospital last week to coe off the alchol under a Dr's care and will be going to outpatient theraphy and will be living with me and my husband. My question is, if she goes into an in patient program for 30 days can the bio dad file for custody of the baby? How hard would it be to get him back if that should happen and would she have to surrender the babies passport?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Hello.

Brandon M. :

It appears that you are online. Can you see this?

Customer:

yes

Brandon M. :

Very good. Thank you for your question.

Brandon M. :

If I may, I would like to start by telling you about a case that I handled because the outcome of that case makes for a good demonstration of how the law works.

Brandon M. :

Some time ago, I represented a mother who was alcoholic. There were two kids involved and the mother had been the primary caretaker of the kids for most of their lives. The parents entered into a 50/50 custody arrangement, but around two years into it the mother relapsed. The mother was in-patient for around 60 days, and the father filed for full custody.

The court ultimately ended up awarding the mother primary custody, split approximately 70/30. The court's reasoning was that even though the mother was an alcoholic, and even though she relapsed, she addressed the problem--she sought appropriate medical care, the kids were never in danger, and the father's unwillingness to consider the best interests of the children in his over all conduct demonstrated that the kids would be better off primarily in the mother's care.

Brandon M. :

Because the nuances of every case are different, you should not rely on this information as advice or apply it to a specific situation without a more thorough consultation with counsel. But that said, custody is decided based on the best interests of the children, and that varies from situation to situation. If a parent has an alcohol problem, it is a factor for consideration. If the parent needs treatment for their chemical dependency and receives in-patient treatment, the absence may be a factor of consideration as well. Your question is how in-patient treatment for alcohol dependency/addiction may impact a parent's custody rights, and the most accurate answer is that there is no law that says that it will give rights to one parent or the other.

Brandon M. :

The situation has to be examined in its totality, and the only question for the court is "what is in the best interest of the child".

Brandon M. :

So nothing would prevent either parent from requesting a custody modification any time there is a material change in circumstances, but if a change of custody is not deemed in the child's best interests then it won't happen.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

ok did the father keep the children for 60 or willII being the grandmother be able to keep th 70-30% as it is now


 

Brandon M. :

What does the existing custody order say about the right of first refusal?

Brandon M. :

Oftentimes, a custody order will allow one parent to have the right to take the child first before the child is put into the care of someone else during the other parent's custody time. This is called the right of first refusal--if a father has this right, the mother would have to offer to let the father have custody of the child before giving the child over to a grandparent.

Brandon M. :

If a custody order grants a right of first refusal, the non-custodial parent would have first-dibs. If the custody order does not grant a right of first refusal, the non-custodial parent would not have that right.

Brandon M. :

Is that clear?

Customer:

I did press yes I understand that,I'm sorry. Do I have Grandpart rights or visitation

Brandon M. :

I apologize, could I bother you to rephrase the question? I do apologize.

Customer:
Brandon M. :

I am sorry, it appears that there might be a technical problem; it appears that you wrote a response, but the response is invisible, and I will therefore need it written again. If the problem continues, I will switch us out of "chat" mode and into a different format--the different format will still allow us to read what each other writes, but it is slightly slower; hopefully, that will not be necessary. I do apologize again and thank you for your patience.

Customer:

do have as a grandparent rights to visitation

Brandon M. :

So the question about grandparent visitation rights is all within the state of Pennsylvania, correct?

Customer:
Brandon M. :

Unfortunately, the response was invisible again. I am going to switch us out of "chat". As I mentioned, we can still see what the other writes, but it will be somewhat slower. Please wait one moment.

Customer:

yes

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
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Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
Hello. Can you see this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

yes I can Brandon

Expert:  Brandon M. replied 2 years ago.
Very good, and thank you for being so patient.

The question of whether grandparents have a right to custody or visitation is answered under 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. sec. 5301 et seq., grandparents do have a right to the possibility of visitation in Pennsylvania if one of the grandchildren's parents is deceased, if the parents are divorce, if the parents have been living apart for at least six months if they were never married, or if the child has lived with the grandparent for at least a year. If those criteria are met, the court may order visitation to the grandparent if it is deemed in the best interest of the child.

Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please remember to click accept once you are finished; it does not cost anything extra to click accept, and it is the only way I may receive compensation for my time. Thanks.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12235
Experience: Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
Brandon M. and 9 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you Brandon, can you email me these pages so I can dicuss them with my husband

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