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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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My husband and I have raised our 7 year old grandson. His (sprerm

Customer Question

My husband and I have raised our 7 year old grandson. His (sprerm donor) has never been around or even tried to see him. My daughter married another man 5 years ago, and her son would stay the night at their house occasionally. She has been seperated from her husband for about a year. My daughter lives in the back room of the home of her friend, her friends husband and their two children. My grandson still lives with us (maternal grandparents). The sperm donor has as of late been talking to my daughter and she is letting the sperm donor talk to Bryson.

Bryson loves the step father, but as of late he seems to be having some drug problems and I don't trust him with my grandson. The sperm donor has an extensive criminal record of domestic violence, resisting arrest, possession and other things. The problem is that my daughter is telling my grandson that Jr. (Sperm Donor) is coming back to Florida in Jan and she is moving into a place with junior. I asked him where he was going to live and he said he didn't know. I asked if mommy had explained that and he said no. He has been acting out at home and in school. Will not talk to anyone about how he feels and is just holding it all inside. He is becoming very angry and is breaking his toys, tearing things up just to show how angry he is. Is it possible for a grandparent to get custody in a situation such as this? I don't know what else to do?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

In this situation you are calling the other person a "sperm donor". Was he a legal sperm donor (as that does not generally give him rights to the child), or you are simply using that term to show his lack of impact on the child's life? Was he listed as the legal parent on his birth certificate?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No he is not listed as a parent on the birth certificate. The term "sperm donor" is my sarcastic way of not saying his name. He got my daughter pregnant, just the same as he did a few other women and then left town. He has not stayed in contact with or payed child support for any of his five children. Three of which were born with-in a month after and before my grandson. I call him sperm donor because he has never been a father figure nor has he cared about his children. He just got the women pregnant and then went to find someone else. In other words he is a skirt chasing whore dog. Sorry about the wording, but my daughter and the father of her child do not care anything about my grandson. My daughter has just started trying to be a mother (if one day a week is a mother), since Jr. (the sperm donor) has come back into her life. She is supposedly trying to be a good mother in order to use my grandson as a pawn to get her old lover back. She is already using him as a pawn in the relationship between her (husband) the step-father and her son. I am at my witts end and I can see my grandson getting his hopes up to finally see his biological father in January. I just don't want my grandson to get hurt mentally or physically by expecting too much from either parent.
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your post.

First of all, if the biological father is not on the birth certificate, legally he has NO rights to the child. To get rights, he would have to file a petition asserting his paternity rights which would also force him to start paying support and other obligations for the child. However your daughter, if she does have custody, can choose to provide access to the child for him, whether or not you approve.

You do most definitely have recourse. Be aware, however, that getting guardianship for a grandparent is fairly difficult but is not impossible. You must prove that you have a very strong bond with the child (that can be proven if the child lives with you or you raised him) as that provides the court with the ability to see that you have an important role in his life.

Second, your guardianship petition MUST claim unfitness on the part of the mother. To prove unfitness you must show a history or evidence of:

  • abuse
  • neglect
  • domestic violence
  • mental illness
  • drug use
  • alcohol abuse
  • criminal record/history/parole/probation
  • moral turpitude

From your facts it does appear that you have a legitimate claim for neglect (if she is only a mother 1 day a week AND she is attempting to expose her child to a dangerous influence). Additionally the child's behavior can also show unfitness. To strengthen your chances you may want to contact CPS and have them investigate also. If they find grounds, they may choose to take the child away from the mother and provide the child to you as a formal guardian.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 11/1/2010 at 5:45 PM EST