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 Ely Your Own Question
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11446
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
7286322
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Have a Court Order stating I can be reunited with my

Customer Question

Have a Court Order stating I can be reunited with my grandchild when and he turns 18 - he is now 19 and I went to one of his soccer games on his birthday after not seeing him for 10 years and he hugged me and I hugged him telling him that I loved him and was happy to see him play. I have always had a strong bond with him and it was apparent that it was still there after 10 years. Thus happened 6 months ago - today I got a letter from his parents stating that since he is unemancipated that I will not be allowed to see him anymore and found that they threatened to stop supporting him and paying for his college if he insisted on continuing to see me or spend time with me. The order says nothing about emancipation - is it possible I could have the order altered to state I can be reunited at 18 regardless of whether he is emancipated or not. Since it
does not say anything regarding emancipation, would I still have to stop seeing him or
go to his games? They have threatened Family Court and said if I continued to see him
they would take me to criminal court - is this valid?
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 month ago.

Hello and thanks for using Just Answer. I’m a licensed attorney with 36 years’ experience in family law, appeals, landlord-tenant, and other types of law. I look forward to helping you today.

Please note:This is general information and not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed, and no attorney-client relationship is formed. This is for educational purposes only.

Also – I will be typing my answer for you so I’ll be back in a few minutes.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 month ago.

You can always ask to amend an order and if it relates to children, the judge is going to want to do what is in the best interests of the child.

Sounds like the parents are jealous of your relationship. That child has already suffered by your not being in his life.

Does this answer your question? I'm happy to answer anything else you need.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 month ago.

You can take this case to court and make a motion to amend the order. A motion to amend is easily done, although it would be best if you have an attorney do it for you. The child has already suffered, and that is what the judge will care the most about -- the best interests of the child.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The parent is very controlling of everyone and has mental disorders. You did not answer my questions. 1)motion to amend would be costly. Parent has threatened to not pay college if he sees me and so he will continually suffer and I do not want that.
The court order says nothing about being emancipated before I am able to see him. Why would it have to be amended?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I do not want to cause my grandson any grief as I love him but something is not right here - parent is threatening me with criminal and family court if I try to see him.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
He is 19 years old in college about 7 hours away from parents. I believe he is upset as he wants to know his grandma.
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 month ago.

I don't doubt it and I'm sorry to hear of it.

I can answer whatever you'd like. I'm here all night.

Right -- it seems like your question was about altering or amending the order. You mean amending it.

As I'm reading it, it sounds more like the question should be about enforcing the order. The court order says you can. If they interfere with the order, you can bring a case to enforce the order.

The parents cannot prevent him from seeing you because the order says he can.

The parents are out of control. That's a given.

You can also exercise grandparents rights in your state, depending on what state it is, but this order already gives you the right. Of course he wants to know you, and they do not want that. It threatens them.

A motion to amend would be costly. Agreed. But you already have the order, so what you'd need to do is enforce the order. That is costly too. That requires going into family court and having the court enforce it or going into civil court if he's too old for family court to have the court enforce the order and also ask for a restraining order against the parents if necessary to prevent them from interfering. None of this is cheap but it depends on what you want to do.

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 month ago.

Is there any way you can see him in college for now so the parents don't know about it? Is that possible?

Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 month ago.

They cannot take you to criminal court. You have done nothing wrong. They are just threatening but do not know the law. You have a court order and there is nothing criminal about this.

My concern is that they are going to take this out on him.

I'm an Attorney for the Children in my state -- like a GAL or guardian ad litem in yours. I am always looking for the best interest of the child, and the best interests of the child here is that he has a relationship with you. He's probably missed you for years.

There is nothing criminal about what you are doing and they are threatening. Just words.However, I do believe they will take it out on him, so that's why I'm asking if you can see him in college.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The parents are saying that since they are paying for his support and college he is unemancipated, therefore, since he is
unemancipated the court order doesn't apply. An attorney I spoke to agreed but I believe since the court order doesn't say that my grandchild has to be emancipated before I can see him - it states that I can see him when he turns 18 and he is 19. I have been told by an attorney here in NJ to ignore the letter don't respond and just stay away from my grandson and that there is nothing I can do unless I want to hurt him more than he is already hurting from not being able to see me.
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 month ago.

I agree that the order is clear and plain on its face and you can see him. Emancipation has nothing to do with this.

Regarding whether you see him or not, that's up to you. I know they will take it out on him because this is what parents like these do.

If they don't know you're seeing him, and you have an order that says you can, why not see him away from the parents? If they won't know about it, at least you will have your grandson and you can see him when you both make arrangements for it.

There is NOTHING criminal about this, and there is NOTHING that calls for emancipation, so that's incorrect. I agree that the order is plain on its face. It is the parents who are interpreting it that way and they are wrong.

I would not respond to the letter either. It's going to inflame the situation.

My suggestion is to see him outside of the parents' area, and what they don't know won't hurt them. You have a legal right to see your grandson because the order says you do.

This should answer your question now. I was thrown off because you talked about amending but it is not something that needs amending. The order is clear and plain on its face.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The letter they sent me was written by a prominent attorney here in NJ - one of the best - these attorneys do not send letters
that are not legally bound - this is what scares me.
Expert:  FamilyAttorney replied 1 month ago.

It was meant to scare you. And it did just that.

However, lawyers write letters all the time and half the time they don't have a leg to stand on. I don't care if this guy is "the best." I've been doing this for 36 years and I've never had one complaint filed against me, and my reputation is the same. So from what you are telling me, the letter was meant to scare you away and that's exactly what he did.

I would suggest you get a second opinion because I am telling you what the order says and I know you don't want to think it applies that way, so I am going to opt out. Best of luck to you and to your grandson. I think the best thing you can do for him is to see him when mom and dad aren't around and when they don't know about it.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 month ago.

Hello, different expert here.. Are you still uncertain about whether you can see grandson or not?

.

Or did you have a different question that is unresolved?

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Related Family Law Questions