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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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Ive had my granddaughter for 4 and 1/2 years years and live

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I've had my granddaughter for 4 and 1/2 years years and live in south carolina. I would like to get custody of her. Her mother lives in cayce, s.c. and her farther lives in charston s.c. I live pelion, s.c. They do switch weekend visiting her. She will be 5 on July 10, so as you can see I've had her most her life. What are my chances???
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist.

That very much depends on your grounds. Why are you seeking custody of your child at this time?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

because they have joint custody, but she is suppose to live with mom and child doesn't want to because she has lived with me for so long and dad doesn't want her to live with me and he told mom he was going to go for custody if she didn't bring her home. He is in the navy and only saw her 6 times her first 3 and 1/2 years of her life. She never bonded with him. She hates him, hides from him when he comes to pick her up for his weekend. He only has 2 years left and hes moveing back to Texas. Child doesn't want to live with either one of them, so I would like to get custody so we could live peace and not worry if either of them are comeing to pick her one day.

Thank you for your follow-up, Brenda.

Now I understand, while the parents are not necessarily 'unfit', since they do not raise the child or care for her, they are neglecting their duties to the point where you feel that you would be a more stable and fit guardian for the child.

To answer your question directly, both Federal and state laws favor parents making decisions in keeping access away from grandparents if they so choose. In 2000, the US Supreme Court, in a decision called Troxel v. Granville, stated that parental rights are superior to grandparent rights and that parents have the right and the ability to withhold access.

That does not mean that you have no rights. You can still petition the courts for guardianship or for visitation, but getting such rights is fairly difficult. The courts will only grant you visitation if you can show that a legitimate bond exists with the children, and that it would be in the best interest of the children to be with you. Additionally, if you ever had guardianship, or the children lived with you for a significant time (5 months is borderline) you likely have enough to claim that a bond existed.

In your case you have a fairly strong claim for a variety of reasons. You have raised the child for the most part unopposed and personally for the vast majority of her life, you can most definitely demonstrate a strong bond to the child, and the other parents are for the most part absent from this child's life. Mostly due to the last point you have a stronger claim to keeping the child than the other parents have in retaking the child from you, but you would need to file as soon as you can so as to ensure you ability to obtain rights.

Good luck.

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