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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7457
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My grandchildren are in the temporary guardianship of their

Customer Question

My grandchildren are in the temporary guardianship of their other grandparents. My daughter has been fighting an addiction problem for a few years now. She is in treatment in Florida right now and it has been 8 months and she is doing fantastic, such a big turn around for her. This was her choice and she found this place to go and we helped her get to the airport. We have visitation rights with the grandkids and have somewhat of a good relationship with the other grandparents. They have not let the kids see their mother (my daughter) for a couple years now. They wont answer her calls or her letters. she is coming home for Thanksgiving for 4 days and going back to rehab where she has a full time job and her own living expenses to pay for. I want her to be able to see her kids but there lawyer is cutthroat and very mean about this whole situation saying she will never get better and I don't know how he knows that but I have faith in God that she will. Anyways my husband and I are hardworking people and we live a clean life, we are not addicts by any means far from it. we raised our children the best we could and we feel like we raised them right. We have provided our children with food and clothing and a good place to live. The other grandparents are very controlling and have been from the start of our grand kids lives. We get them 1 Friday night to Sat. for 24 hours a month and 2 times a week, a whole weekend was out of the question. Their son signed over his rights to the kids for $5,000.00 I was told. I cant prove it but he is a crack addict and is married and has 2 step children and 1 baby of his own with his new wife. Which they said if my daughter sees the kids it will be too confusing for them and his lifestyle isn't when he doesn't have them living with him? He has never been in trouble but he is allowed to see the kids whenever he wants and gets to take them where ever he wants to. They denied he had a drug problem to my lawyer.The other grandpa was going to disown him because of his drug use, he had told us before all of this. He had juvenile records of drug use and trueancy from what I have been told. I want to know how I can joint guardianship or full and how my daughter can get her rights to see her children. Please HELP!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this; I am currently looking into this. It will be a few more minutes.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

The guardianship proceeding was done in OH correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that follow up.

First, the mother of the child may be entitled to legal representation- that information is here: Assigned Counsel Office, Juvenile Court: 216/698-4772 - they can give you the local number for your specific jurisdiction in the state.

Per case law, a parent can challenge a guardianship proceeding provided that the court finds they are fit parents (ie no abuse or neglect): https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/PIO/summaries/2006/0329/042031.asp

Pursuant to statute, a grandparent can seek visitation rights over a grandchild. (http://www.lsc.ohio.gov/membersonly/127grandparents.pdf). The courts generally don't award co-guardianship because they feel it is better to have one individual (or a married couple) in charge of the child's legal status, so as to avoid conflict.

The court with jurisdiction is the juvenile court (http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2151.23) and the juvenile court may terminate a guardianship when it is no longer needed or when the guardian is not acting in the child's best interest- if the guardian unreasonably allows parents or grandparents to visit with the child, the court looks disfavorably upon this, and this can result in the termination of the guardianship.

In an Ohio case, the Hockstock case, the court discussed previous case, Masitto v. Masitto (1986),*****3d 63. In Masitto, the natural father, prior to divorcing mother, consented to guardianship by grandparents. The parents later divorced, and making no provision for parental rights in the divorce, incorporating the guardianship order, so that The Supreme Court noted the father had contractually agreed to the appointment of the grandparents as legal guardians, and that Ohio Revised Code 2111.06 requires unsuitability as a prerequisite for guardianship. This means that any parent who gives guardianship of their children to grandparents or other third parties in probate court has, by their own consent, established their unsuitability and has opened the door for custody to the person who received guardianship.

However the guardianship, especially if temporary, can later be challenged by the parent if there is a changed circumstance and the parent is deemed to be suitable.

Basis for terminating guardianships:

  • The child dies
  • The child reaches the age of 18
  • A judge decides that the guardianship is no longer needed (ie parents are suitable)
  • The necessity of having a guardian no longer exists
  • The guardian asks the court to be relieved of their guardianship

Often times, the court will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem, to ensure that the child's best interests are being actively promoted.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

As you can imagine, the process is rather complex, so it is best to look into hiring an attorney specializing in custody/guardianship. Again, that phone number is ***** reference for possible free legal assistance.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

Here is a pro bono link for senior legal services: http://www.ohiolegalservices.org/public/legal_problem/seniors/introduction/qandact_view