Looking for custody atty for Texas; both parents in Navy, however, mom is soon to be processed out of Navy and child has been in custody of paternal grandparents for 3 mos (child is 5 mos old); father is stationed in Hawaii on destroyer; mother is stationed in Ca on shore duty. Need to talk to someone that has both military and civilian custody knowledge that can help father and paternal grandparents.
State/Country relating to question: Texas
Just beginning in the process. Father is filing for divorce through his legal office, however, was told to file custody issues with Tx attorney.
Thanks for the chance to assist
You mention child in custody of grandparents....can you explain this...is there a court order, or are the grandparents simply taking care of kids while dad's deployed.
Where will the divorce be conducted from (what state)?
Child is in grandparents custody because mother was told by her command that she had 2 choices: contact family to take care of the baby or CPS would be called. She has numerous infractions and was not tending the baby properly. She had them contact us (paternal grandparents) so we immediately retrieved the baby from her possession and he has been with us ever since. Not sure about the divorce. I would think Texas since this is his address used for entry into the military and where he intends to live after he completes his term.
Well, the location of the divorce will control everything. While you may be able to file for temporary custody in TX, if the goal is custody for your son, it will need to come through the divorce decree. NOw, if he is not currently living in TX it is not likely he can divorce in TX. If stationed in HI he can file in HI or in CA, since mom lives there.
During the divorce, the court will assign custody.
Based on your description, if mom is having problems caring or the kids, dad certainly has a better shot at custody
As for grandparent custody...its possible for grandparents to get custody in certain circumstances, but unless the court or family services has significant adverse findings you will not likely, as grandparent, get custody over mom.
From the TX code
§ 153.433. POSSESSION OF OR ACCESS TO GRANDCHILD. The
court shall order reasonable possession of or access to a
grandchild by a grandparent if:
(1) at the time the relief is requested, at least one
biological or adoptive parent of the child has not had that parent's
parental rights terminated;
(2) the grandparent requesting possession of or access
to the child overcomes the presumption that a parent acts in the
best interest of the parent's child by proving by a preponderance of
the evidence that denial of possession of or access to the child
would significantly impair the child's physical health or emotional
(3) the grandparent requesting possession of or
access to the child is a parent of a parent of the child and that
parent of the child:
(A) has been incarcerated in jail or prison
during the three-month period preceding the filing of the petition;
(B) has been found by a court to be incompetent;
(C) is dead; or
(D) does not have actual or court-ordered
possession of or access to the child.
So, best course of action is for your son to file the case and gain custody.
Please let me know if you have further questions; if so I will do my best to answer them. If not please hit the accept button, its the only way I get credit for my work.
Yes, the goal is for him to gain custody. Would it be advisable for grandparents to retain atty as well? She is threatening to come get the baby, but has not received approval from her command. Can I, or my son, file a restraining order against her to keep her from the baby?
As the parent, you can not legally prevent her from access to the child without the courts permission.
You can retain an attorney and file for temporary custody, but like I said, it is not likely the court will give you custody if she has a plan to care for the child
Its better if your son fights this one, since the court will give him much more latitude as the parent...but if he can not due to his deployment and you want custody, you will need an attorney to assist.
You can start that search here
He will be fighting this, however, since the child is in our possession and, assuming he gets custody, will remain in our possession while he is on sea duty, would it be advisable for us to retain an attorney to protect our rights, as well? She has no plan to care for the child as she has been evicted from military housing and is staying, illegaly, in her boyfriends barrack. We have quite a bit of evidence against her in regard to her adultery, neglect of the child while she had him in her possession and numerous other infractions, as well as the fact that she will be processed out of the navy and will have no income to support herself or the child. I hope you can understand where I am going with this. If she comes here to pick up the child, I am concerned he will become another headline that no of us want to read about and will be lost to our family forever.
That is possible, that is, if he has custody, he can designate you to care for the child if he is not able to...the key here is its his rights, not yours, that will trump...so if you can help him fight that, that would likely be the best use of funds.
As I said, you can try and exert your rights, but grandparents rights will not trump parents rights unless the parent as committed some serious misconduct.
Retired Marine Corps Lawyer, Veterans Services Officer (VSO)
Thank you very much for your help!
Welcome...best of luck with this mess
Forget to note that childs father has provided "In LOCO PARENTIS" to grandmother. How does that affect this situation as far as grandparents assisting with custody battle for the father?
Good...and that would allow you to keep the child if the father wins custody...but the key here is to frame the custody battle properly. It can either be the grandparent seeking custody due to the father absence. or father seeking custody directly.
As I said, the father has the much stronger case based on his relationship. The father providing grand father with a child care power of attorney will show the court that father wants dad to have care in his (fathers) absence. But this will not necessarily matter for the grandfather's bid for custody.
That is why I recommend that, if you can wait, have the father fight this fight
Father will definitely be fighting for custody. We just want to be able to assist as much as possible. Wife is threatening to come to Tx to pick up child, even though her command has told her she cannot. Would I have the right, with the POA, to file a restraining order against her when divorce is filed? I would, in essence, be acting in the father's place.
You can try..but restraining orders are difficult to obtain. Typically you need to show threat of injury...so of there is a threat from her to the safety of the child.
You have been a tremendous help. Thank you so much for all of the information.
best of luck
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