Family Law

Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Family Law
This answer was rated:

My wife and I live in Nevada, and are in our third year of

raising, under a non-judicial guardianship...
My wife and I live in Nevada, and are in our third year of raising, under a non-judicial guardianship (albeit with a notarized assignment of guardianship from the mother--our daughter) two grandchildren, ages 5 and 12. The mother has sole custody of the 12-year old, although the father has limited, reasonable visitiation with her, and has been paying limited (~$300/month) child support for the past five-six years or so. The mother has sole custody of the 5-year old, whose father, whereabouts unknown, has never even seen him, and takes no responsibility. Recently, the DA has caught up with him, and around $30-60/month child support apparently is taken from his paycheck. I am 72 and am receiving Social Security benefits. I would like to obtain social security benefits for my Grandchildren, but SS tells me that unless the natural parents are deceased or disabled (which they are not) that a guardian grandparent cannot receive benefits, unless they adopt the grandkids. My first question, is that true? Is there not some type of special non-adoption status that can qualify me to get the enhanced SS benefits (approximately 50% of my current SS benefits per kid)? If not, how difficult will it be to adopt the kids, and what do I have to do in order to do so?
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Family Law Question
Answered in 12 minutes by:
2/1/2013
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,515
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

They were correct, in that a grandparent custodian (even a legally appointed guardian) can't get social security benefits for a grandchild unless the parents of the child are either deceased or disabled. Assuming the parents are not deceased and/or disabled, then they would not be eligible. They could be eligible if they were your legal children, which is what the adoption is all about.

ScottyMacEsq :

Now the main problem with adoptions is consent. You either (a) need consent of all the parents of the children, or (b) consent of some and a termination of rights of the others.

ScottyMacEsq :

An adoption is not just making you the legal parents of the child; it's making the biological parents no longer the legal parents.

ScottyMacEsq :

Individuals who are not legal parents generally don't have an obligation to support.

ScottyMacEsq :

And that would also have an impact on the child support.

ScottyMacEsq :


Individuals who are not legal parents generally don't have an obligation to support.



ScottyMacEsq :

And the court would most likely terminate the child support order if it ordered the termination of the parental rights (which would be necessary to give you those rights).

ScottyMacEsq :

Now as to how you do this, it's preferable to get an attorney to handle the process, although I do know that they are expensive. Contact legal aid in your area to see if there are any attorneys that would be able to assist you pro bono (no or low fee).

ScottyMacEsq :

If not, you can do this on your own, although there's a bit of a learning curve. You can go to the courthouse, which should have a law library, and in this library there should be a number of books that have forms that you would need to file.

ScottyMacEsq :

The clerk at the courthouse may be able to assist you in the process, but they can't give you legal advice (only an attorney could do that).

ScottyMacEsq :

You can also find a lot of information at the regular local library (ask about the law section, as well as any online resources that they might have for legal forms).

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

Would it be possible to adopt the 12-year old without terminating the parental rights of the bio-dad, in order to preserve his child support? He is not on the birth certificate, but the DA eventually determined his paternity and starting hitting his paycheck for child support. Early on (week 1 of child's life), he had filed for sole custody, which was denied by the Family Court Judge with prejudice. At the time, he had not been with Mom since month-one of her pregnancy, either physically or financially. He has never had any parental rights adjudicated.

ScottyMacEsq :

Assuming that he is the legal father (and if he's paying child support, that's a good presumption) then I don't think that a court would allow an adoption without both parents' consent. I guess it's possible that if he consents to the mother giving up her rights, that the grandmother could become a legal parent, but I've never seen that actually happen.

ScottyMacEsq :

I've only seen grandparent adoptions where both biological parents give up their rights.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

I have been out of town for the weekend, and unplugged. Followup question. Is there some way to obtain child support from the mother?

ScottyMacEsq :

Sorry for the delay, I was out of the office until now...

ScottyMacEsq :

With adoption, that generally terminates any support obligation (since the parents no longer are legally parents of the children, they don't have any legal obligation to continue to support).

ScottyMacEsq :

But ultimately that depends on the judge. Most of the time they're not going to require child support from the parent who has no legal rights or responsibilities, but it's possible that they could in the right situation.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!\

Customer:

Based on the above, we are considering maintaining the guardianship status with one or both of the kids. Therefore, my followup question was, assuming we still maintain guardianship, is there a basis for obtaining child support from the mother?

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes. If the mother is not the custodian of the child, you can get child support from her.

ScottyMacEsq :

(sorry about the confusion, I thought you meant if you were to adopt)

ScottyMacEsq :

But non-custodial parents do have an obligation to pay child support to the custodian of the child

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

ScottyMacEsq :

 


If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time (~45 minutes) and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

 

ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,515
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
Verified
ScottyMacEsq and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask ScottyMacEsq Your Own Question
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17,515
17,515 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

ScottyMacEsq is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it.

LeeMichigan

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

11,875 satisfied customers

Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney and Counselor at Law

9,025 satisfied customers

30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

7,856 satisfied customers

I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.

Tina

Tina

Lawyer

6,562 satisfied customers

JD, 17 years legal experience including family law

Barrister

Barrister

Lawyer

3,415 satisfied customers

Attorney with 17 years experience

P. Simmons

P. Simmons

Lawyer

3,398 satisfied customers

16 yrs. of experience including family law.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Lawyer

2,787 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

< Previous | Next >

Related Family Law Questions
If a petition for parental rights is brought upon a mother
If a petition for parental rights is brought upon a mother by a THIRD PARTY with no state involvement, does the third party have to offer the mother a case plan for reunification like the state would … read more
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL
Lawyer
Juris Doctorate
2,787 satisfied customers
I had a child support case dropped last year, now the mother
I had a child support case dropped last year , now the mother gets mad when I'm late with the payment now she saying she going to open it back up Tuesday. He will be 17 May the31. But can she do that.… read more
RobertJDFL
RobertJDFL
Lawyer
Juris Doctorate
2,787 satisfied customers
State of Maine - custodial parent wants me (non relative)
State of Maine - custodial parent wants me (non relative) and will not provide child support) to take custody of her 13 year old or she is giving it to aunt who has 7 people living in 3 bedrooms, chil… read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,871 satisfied customers
Situation: Court order says to pay child support if the
Situation : Court order says to pay child support if the child is living at the mothers home and going to college until the child is 20 years old. What if the child is living in a college dorm does th… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
The non custodial parents child support order isi in South
The non custodial parents child support order isi in South Dakota, he owes approx 25k in back support. He fled to Indiana and I was able to tell the process server his location. He has not paid a penn… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,877 satisfied customers
I was not properly served by the custodial parent. Instead,
I was not properly served by the custodial parent. Instead, she falsely told the County clerk's Of Alameda that I was served. What should I do? … read more
Roger
Roger
Litigation Attorney
Doctoral Degree
26,871 satisfied customers
I have a child support case tomorrow, the mother lost
I have a child support case tomorrow, the mother lost custody to the grandparents due to hard drugs. Grandparents have guardianship of my son, a hold was put on payments to stop from use of drugs. Gua… read more
Amber E.
Amber E.
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
1,429 satisfied customers
My Husband pays child support to his child's mother. The
My Husband pays child support to his child's mother. The agreement was never brought to the court or signed.Can she file for child support and if she does will the court make him pay the 17% or take i… read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
1,810 satisfied customers
If a custodial parent (who receives child support) in Orange
If a custodial parent (who receives child support) in Orange County Florida decides to relocate with a minor child out of state is that parent(1) required to notify the court, (2) required to gain the… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,170 satisfied customers
I am the non-custodial parent (mother) of a 17 year old
I am the non-custodial parent (mother) of a 17 year old daughter who has been hospitalized for suicidal thoughts, running away and cutting. She does not want to return to her father's home. She fears … read more
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
7,385 satisfied customers
Oklahoma child support agreed to a paternity test in the
Oklahoma child support agreed to a paternity test in the state i was residing in after agreeing they went to court the very next day and remanded me the father of 3 children and give me no paperwork a… read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
56,297 satisfied customers
My Grandchild was removed from his biological parent's at
My Grandchild was removed from his biological parent's at the age of 5 weeks old and they still do not have him back. We are the paternal Grandparents and would like to find out why he has not been re… read more
Sue
Sue
Juris Doctorate
242 satisfied customers
What happens if a mother does not show up for a paternity
what happens if a mother does not show up for a paternity hearing … read more
INFOLAWYER
INFOLAWYER
Partner
Doctoral Degree
56,297 satisfied customers
My grandsons mother is trying to be the custodial parent. My
Hello my grandsons mother is trying to be the custodial parent. My son is trying to have joint custody she filed in court my son needs a lawyer … read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
28,170 satisfied customers
My son owes $25,000 in back child support, the mother has
My son owes $25,000 in back child support, the mother has never had anything to do with the kids, the Court has stopped his payments but how does he clear the money owed, he has had sole custody for 1… read more
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent
Managing Partner
Doctoral Degree
1,966 satisfied customers
Child support, il, searching, contacted for child support.
child support JA: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in? Customer: il JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet? Customer: searching JA: Anything else you want… read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
Juris Doctor
18,377 satisfied customers
I am the sole custodial parent of my 9 year old. He is
Hello,I am the sole custodial parent of my 9 year old. He is currently enrolled in summer camp that is being held at a school. He has a play this week that the non custodial parent wants to attend but… read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,538 satisfied customers
A non-custodial parent is required to pay child support, but
A non-custodial parent is required to pay child support, but finds the under aged children left the custial father on their own free will and is no longer under the custodial care. can the non custodi… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x