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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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I have custody of my grandchildren my 11 year old grandson

Customer Question

I have custody of my grandchildren my 11 year old grandson since 3 mos. old and he is autistic and my granddaughter who is 8 and has not seen his father since she was 6 mos. old. My daughter and her boyfriend went to court with me and agreed to give me custodial /parental rights. The father agreed to pay me $100 a week per child which I have never received since I have been legal guardian for the both of the children. I would like to terminate his rights since he has never been in their life and the children just know that I am their grandmother and their mother who has been in their life. Since the children are diagnosed with disabilities (Damian, 11, has Autism, ADHD and wears braces on his legs, he also went to a psychologist for abandonment issues at one time. His mother will not even ask for custody back because Damian cries and get very upset when he asks if he would like to go and stay at mommies overnight.) (Hailey, 8, has also seen a psychologist for abandonment issues and has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD, she also feels the same when it comes to leaving us and visiting her mother. )
When her mother moved back from Arizona to New Jersey she moved in the home with us and since has been married and had another child so we all live together to keep the children together. What rights do I have in getting the father's rights terminated?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 5 months ago.

Dear Customer,

Thank you for using our forum. I hope to assist you today.

Unless you are planning on adopting the children as your own, there wouldn't be a basis to "terminate" the father's rights.

It sounds like you already have a full legal guardianship over both of the children which gives you the legal authority to make all decisions for the children as you see fit.

(If you do not have an actual court order, you are working off of an informal agreement - but this doesn't seem to be the case based on what you posted - you may want to consider going to a local attorney and have them assist you in putting together a guardianship petition so that you can get that formal legal guardianship).

Furthermore, with regards ***** ***** child support obligation, I don't know if you want to pursue it or not (some families/caretakers choose to leave well enough alone, while others would like to get the financial assistance to help with raising their children (I know first hand how difficult it can be raising special needs children)), you can get assistance in enforcing a child support order from the state.

I would be surprised if the $100.00/month is all that the court order is going to allow, and the children's father is likely liable for much more.

  • (I would strongly suggest that you do make an appointment with your local bar association's self help center or legal aid clinic, or some other resource (even if you have to pay a family law attorney for an hour of their time) to go over your court documents and just confirm the status of your orders and what exactly the court ordered all those years ago. Sometimes the legal orders can be confusing and it is better to be certain).