How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Amber E. Your Own Question
Amber E.
Amber E., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1471
Experience:  Experienced practitioner in family law, including divorce, custody, and domestic violence cases.
17831645
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Amber E. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I became a " grandmother" to young children, 3, 5, and 6 at

This answer was rated:

I became a " grandmother" to young children, 3, 5, and 6 at this time. I have been the only "grandmother" that they have had for over 18 months. I was the mother of their previous foster parents, and took RESPA training so that I could keep them, be with them etc. For the entire time they were in my Sons home they knew me as their Grandmother, after they were returned to their parents I still did the same. Seeing them several times a week, they stayed with me, I payed for preschool for the youngest and more. We have taken them on two family vacations, one was a cruise and the other was to Disney land. They are once again in CPS custody and they are now living with their Great Aunt, who wants me to continue to see, visit babysit, and be their "grandmother". However, the ADLIAM was really mean and ugly to me, and told me that because I help the parents, by giving groceries, gas and paid for the youngest to go to preschool that I enabled the parents. I tried to help the parents to get clean after they were taken and they ended up burglerizing my home. I pressed charges and have had nothing to do with them. The parents at one time wanted me to have the children and even ask if we would do paper work to keep them should anything happen to them. However since I have pressed charges and will not drop them the mother, not the father, have said I can not have any contact unless I drop the charges. THe aunt is in complete disagreement and wants me in their lives. They love me and I love them. Under Texas Family Code 102.004 2b It states that an orginal suite requesting possessory conservorship ( visitations) may not be filed by a grandparent or other person. However, the court may grant a grandparent or other person deemed by the court to have had substantial past contact with the child leave to intervene in a pending suite filed by a person authorized to do so under this subchapter if there issatisfactory proof to the court that appointment of a parent as a sole managing conservervator or both parents as joint managing conservators would significantly impair the child's physical health or emtional development.

So can I? I mean the aunt is being looked at to adopt the children and parents rights are currently being sought to terminate.

So long as there is a pending suit, your answer is yes. Often people believe that the "pending suit" has to be one filed by one or the other parent (such as your typical contested custody action). However, a pending suit may also any other suit affecting the parent-child relationship - this includes one filed by the state as well.

 

It is impossible to say with absolute certainty whether a suit has been filed in your case, because we are not privy to the paperwork filed or present standing of the action. However, assuming that the children have been removed from the parents' care and the court is involved, then some suit probably has been filed. And that is the suit in which grandparents or other eligible persons may intervene.

 

There is a packet that has been prepared by the Juvenile Law Section of the State Bar of Texas for situations such as this, and I have included the web address to it below. It provides sample forms for intervention that grandparents or other interested parties may use as guides.

 

http://www.juvenilelaw.org/Education/2009/Presentations/Elizondo.pdf

Amber E. and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well there is a suit and I have a copy of it. However, they are not meeting again until August, and I want to legally visit and do things with the kids this summer. If I intervene now will they have to hear me now, or not till August. And If I intervene to I have to have an Attorney to do so?

Wonderful, I am glad to hear that there is a suit and that you will be able to pursue your intervention. Having the aunt on board and a long history of having cared for the children and establishing a relationship with them should go along way in support of your case.

2. However, they are not meeting again until August, and I want to legally visit and do things with the kids this summer. If I intervene now will they have to hear me now, or not till August.

When a party wants "interim" visitation and/or an earlier hearing date, that can be requested in the paperwork along with an explanation about to why it is important. The court has the discretion to set an earlier hearing date or grant interim visitation or both, but it often depends on the court's calendar and how convincing the argument is that it is in the best interest of the children to allow visitation pending a hearing. (Keep in mind that the court will consider not only its own calendar, but that of the other attorneys in the case as well.) Getting an earlier date should be feasible, since it is only May, but there is no guarantee.

3. And If I intervene to I have to have an Attorney to do so?

An attorney is always ideal, but if you cannot afford one you are not prohibited from filing on your own. The bar association creates forms like these for individuals filing pro se (without attorneys) to use.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


One more thing... I have been told that I can not send letters or character references to the judge, if I intervene or do the interm request, you said to do so in writing... would that included these letters of character witness and pictures of me with the kids, and a letter from me requesting this and why I believe it is in the best interest of the children. Also would letters from the aunt and uncle be benificial, or will they even look at any of it.


Thanks by the way!

4. One more thing... I have been told that I can not send letters or character references to the judge,

Letters and references and the like, statements that are just written on a piece of paper, are considered hearsay and are therefore not admissable as evidence.


5. ...if I intervene or do the interim request, you said to do so in writing... would that included these letters of character witness and pictures of me with the kids, and a letter from me requesting this and why I believe it is in the best interest of the children. Also would letters from the aunt and uncle be benificial, or will they even look at any of it.

a. If there are statements that can be made favorable to the case by people who will testify at the hearing, then those can be submitted in the form of notarized documents known as sworn affidavits. The difference between these and the letters and references you described above is that these statements are made and signed in front of a notary under penalty of perjury. They still are not necessarily admissible in court by themselves, but often such affidavits are submitted as attachments to pleadings as exhibits. The can be very helpful when trying to get the court to take some action before the hearing.

b. Photos can be submitted as attachments to pleadings as exhibits as well.

c. No letter from the person filing the intervention is needed, because the argument in favor of the intervention is in the intervention itself. (I don't know if you have had a chance to look at the bar association's guide forms just yet, but it shows you where the reasoning for the request goes. )
Amber E. and 3 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you