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AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9176
Experience:  Attorney
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my son and girlfriend have been together for 7 years they have

Customer Question

my son and girlfriend have been together for 7 years they have a 3 1/2 year old son, for the past year the baby been staying with his grandmother on his moms side and with us his other grandparents. Both his parents are known to take drugs and have never had a fitting home for this child I have not caused any waves because of his other grandma because she is like us and truly loves and takes great care of him. I would like to know what we could do to keep him in a stable home we would love to raise him but I don't know if this would be possible I don't think they will give up their rights. I would truly like to hear what we could do I have talked with a counsler that both the parents saw and he said for me to talk to her mom because neither parent needed the little boy but the way she is about her daughter I haven't yet but am afraid I will have to. thanks
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the opportunity to answer your question. I am sending this answer to you only a few minutes after you submitted your question.
I'm sorry to hear about the situation and that of your grandchild. The rights of parents to their children and to make decisions regarding the placement of their children generally supercede the rights of grandparents. That said, West Virginia does allow for grandparents to petition for court-ordered visitation in a variety of scenarios, included when a grandchild has lived with the grandparent for an extended period. That said, it seems the bigger issue that you're concerned about is custody. It's possible for grandparents to seek custody of a grandchild. However, you will need to be able to show that the parents are unfit and incapable of caring for the child. Drug use would work in favor of such a claim, but it's a complex matter and you'd definitely want to retain an attorney to assist you directly.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I was told that if my son and girlfriend are not married that their son had no legal gardian, and I would like to know if there is any truth to this?
Expert:  AttorneyTom replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for your message. Regardless of whether the parents are married, if paternity has been established, the parents are equals until a court order establishes otherwise and they are the child's legal guardians. Grandparents do not have any guardianship, visitation, or custody rights until they are established through the court. Parents and grandparents can do this voluntarily, or grandparents can ask the court to do this without the consent of the parents.