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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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My granddaughter is 16 will be 17 in March. Her father ( my

Customer Question

My granddaughter is 16 will be 17 in March. Her father ( my son ) lives in South Carolina and my granddaughter lives in Indiana with her mom and step dad. They have been doing drugs and fighting for a long time and have a police file as long as your arm for domestic. My granddaughter called me today crying wanting me to come get her which I did immediately. What can I do to keep her from her moms house while my sone does what he can to get custody of her long distance. He is in the army so he has to get things in order before he comes back up here. My granddaughter wants to do whatever is easier to get away from her mom, Immancipation or just getting to stay with me until her dad can get custody. What can we do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  John Elder replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for trusting Just Answer. I will answer as clearly as possible. I do ask for you Accept my answer so I am paid when we are done.

She cannot file for Emancipation. Emancipation requires her to be on her own with no family support at all, including you. You have a 2-3 options at the moment.

1) You can just keep her as long as her mother and stepfather are not demanding her return and have not filed a complaint to have her returned. The problem with this option is that you really have no legal right to keep her so if they request that the police assist them with taking her from you that cannot be stopped because you have not filed anything with the court. With that said, if they are doing drugs then they likely do not want to get the police involved with anything.

2)You can file a complaint with Child Protective Services at Department of Social Services. CPS will investigate and will make their own decisions on the safety of your granddaughter. The problem with this is that when you file with CPS you loose ALL control. They will make the decisions on where she lives and you will have little or no say in who or where they decide to place your granddaughter. This could include them putting her in foster care.

3) You can file a complaint for emergency custody in conjunction with your son. Requesting that the court award you temporary custody until your son can get up there to fight for custody. The problem with this is that by law you do not have legal authorty to custody over the rights of the parents. In effect, it is going to be VERY difficult to convince a court to award you even temporary custody.

I know that I have not given you perfect options. However, I have given you the options that are legally avaliable to you, as imperfect as they may be.

I would highy suggest getting the aid of an experienced family law attorney to represent you and your son. This is going to be VERY complex and custody procedures are complex even in normal situations. Your best shot of getting exactly what you want is with the aid of an experienced family law attorney.

I am cannot provide you with specific legal advise. I can provide you with general information about the law related to your inquiry. My answer, and any information that you can find online, should not take the place of having a detailed consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
this is the basics that I already knew, I wanted to know how to keep my granddaughter out of this house and she can't stand the thoughts of going back.
Expert:  John Elder replied 5 years ago.
Those are your legal options as I see them. Sorry that I cannot tell you some magic way. However, there is not a "magic way" to keep her. She is a minor, parents have primary rights, the mother has legal custody. Until those facts are changed you are not legally in a position to protect her. I told you the only legal ways to try and protect her.