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Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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I am a grandmother to my daughters 3 children, ages 14, 13,

Resolved Question:

I am a grandmother to my daughter's 3 children, ages 14, 13, 11. girl, boy, girl. the 1st 2 she never married father who has been in and out of jail.. The 3rd child she married the father and presently seeking divorce. In the course of years about 12 yrs, I have tried to help her financially, babysitting, food. I also had them all live me for a short period in the past. Presently I had my 3 grandchildren living with me with all their belongings until in March 2011 my daughter got mad at me and abruptly came and took all of my grandchildren (about 4 mos. later from the initial move in.) 1 week later picked up all their belongings. to date they are not allowed to call me or have any contact. She has gone as far as to tell them if they contact me she will put me in jail. And because they don't want harm to come to me they don"t contact. The only reason I know this, is because my 14 yr. old granddaughter snuck a call to me to tell me this. I have no way of contacting them
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

I am an attorney with 25+ years of legal experience and am working diligently on your answer while I await your response.

Please tell me whether you believe your grandchildren are in any danger and whether you believe your daughter is a fit mother

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
No, I wouldn't say danger. As far as a fit mother, she has always taken care but at times with me, if she got upset with me, she never tried to discuss but would react emotionally. Example, recently, my grandchildren lived with me for about 4 mos. and in march my grandson and youngest granddaughter were squabbling over the use of my computer. My grandson called his mother and in turn she called me and demanded me to restrict my granddaughter. my reply was that i already spoke to the 2 of them and because i didn't do what she requested she was upset with me. Knowing my daughter, I asked her not to stop by tonight as I had company and would appreciate her coming the next night instead. Shortly after the phone call, she arrived at my house with 2 policemen to pick up her children. To think this all happened over 2 children squabbling over a computer time. I myself have raised 4 children alone , as I am a widow about 17 yrs now. There is alot of history for years with my daughter, her siblings want nothing to do with her because for the past 15 yrs they watched how she treated me.
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

So sorry to hear of your difficult situation. If my answer is not clear to you, I encourage you to ask me for clarification by using the reply button.

Unfortunately, the court cannot award grandparent visitation over your daughter's objection. The US Supreme Court held that parents "have a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the care, custody and control" of their children".

Grandparents may obtain visitation rights if the grandparents child is unavailable for visitation or custody of the child. For example in a situation where the grandparents child is deceased, has relinquished his parental rights or had parental rights terminated.

In a situation where the child/parent does not want a child to see the grandparents, there is little that the grandparents can legally do.

So sorry.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My 14 yr. old granddaughter is very upset with the situation. By her request, I am looking into if there is anything I can do. I assured her that her mother cannot send me to jail because i haven't done anything wrong. I don't know how to assure her because i have no way of contacting her as her mother won't give me their new address. I can't even send birthday cards to let them know I am always thinking of them.
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.
You may be able to obtain third-party custody of your granddaughter based upon the close relationship that you have with her and her age and preference. However it would be a difficult battle
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am very upset with the situation and feel my hands are tied. I don't have extra finances to hire a lawyer which most likely, the feeling I'm getting from our conversation, with be costly. Today I used a credit card which I don't like doing but I am very concerned about my granddaughter and the frame of mind she is in and she is looking for my help. Do you have any suggestions?
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.
You are correct that a legal battle with your daughter could prove to be very costly, lengthy and may not work out in your favor. My best suggestion would be to apologize to your daughter even though you were not in the wrong and convince your daughter to allow your granddaughter to live with you. Once she is actually living with you it would be much easier to obtain third-party custody.
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