Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hi. Thank you for your question.
I need just a bit of clarification on something--you said that gave up your rights to your children and you gave custody to your mother. Did you give up your parental rights, or just your custodial rights?
I did it willingly a few years ago when they where young
Were your teenaged children adopted by your mother?
she won't fight me on this well I am pretty sure anyways
she adopted them when they were about 4 and 5
Ok, when a biological parent gives up her parental rights and the children are adopted by someone else, the biological parent no longer has any legal relationship to the children. They have no more legal right to the children than any other person on the planet. This doesn't mean that it's not possible to get custody of the children, but they have to seek it as though they are a non-family member. This means one of two things has to happen. Either custody must be gained through a guardianship, or custody must be gained by the adoptive parent surrendering parental rights and the biological parent adopting the children.
It's much easier to get a guardianship. A guardian essentially has all of the custodial rights that a legal parent does.
It appears that you may be typing. I will wait for you to finish before I continue. Take all the time that you need.
Ok so if my mother does gives up her rights which state do I file in? California, where I gave up my rights, Texas, where my mother lives, or Nevada , where I live?
thank you for waiting
The children live in Texas with your mother, correct?
Have they lived there for at least the past six months?
You would have to file in Texas.
Great. What are the papers called that I need to file?
And do I need a lawyer?
In which Texas county do the children reside?
I am not sure what county but they live in El Paso
ok, just a moment please.
thank you so very much!
I think it is el paso county?
Thanks for your patience. The city of El Paso is located in El Paso County, Texas. Texas isn't quite as uniform as what you may have experienced when you relinquished your rights in California. Each county court has different forms, and some counties do not have forms for certain matters. I'm not in El Paso, but it appears that they do not have a copy of the guardianship petition available in a user-friendly form. When a form does not exist, any needs have to be drafted on court pleading paper from scratch. The typical person cannot do this without assistance of counsel. But to be perfectly honest, the process is pretty complex and the typical person wouldn't be able to maneuver through it anyway without the help of a lawyer, especially if there was any chance that it would be contested.
Let me provide you with a link that summarizes the process: http://texasguardianship.org/guardianship-information/guardianship-basics/guardianship-process-2/
The initial filing for physical custody is called a petition for guardianship of the person. If asking for control over their finances as well (which is typical for kids, even if they don't have any finances), it is called a petition for guardianship of the person and of the estate.
Thank you so very much you have been so helpful!
It's my pleasure. Did you have any other question?
I would just close by saying that because the nuances of every situation are different, this information should not be relied upon as complete or advice until you have had a chance to consult with an attorney practicing in El Paso.
But I am glad that I was able to point you in the right direction. Have a good evening :-)