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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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I am the legal custodian of my 11 year old granddaughter.

Customer Question

I am the legal custodian of my 11 year old granddaughter. Her mother (not my daughter) is on social security disability and now is not obligated to contribute child support. When she was contributing child support (always late) she only contributed 50 or 60 dollars a month. But now she contributes nothing. She drinks a good deal of her money away. She is a chronic alcoholic/smoker/sometimes cocine smoker. She calls me and leaves me drunken obnoxious messages once or twice a week. Calls me every name in the book. She's always drunk.
My son, my granddaughter's dad, died three years ago so is not even in the picture now. He died of alcoholism/drug addition.
Am I under any obligation to let her mom talk to her on the phone (mom lives in South Carolina)? Originally, 6 years ago, the judge said liberal visiting on the phone, if mom isn't drunk. Well, that's rare. But I want to know the legal aspect of this. Am I still legally bound even though she contributes NOTHING anymore towards her support?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 2 years ago.
Good afternoon,
I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
As you are probably aware, the reason that the mother does not have to pay support any longer is because she is given credit for the disability payment you receive from social security for her child. The state grants her credit for that money.
However, as you are the legal guardian of your granddaughter, you have the sole determination as to who she speaks with, absent a court order directing you otherwise----and you may refuse to allow her mother to communicate with her if you believe it to be in your granddaughter's best interests.
As the judge conditioned the phone visitation on mom not being drunk, if you determine that she is inebriated when she calls, you may reject the call and ask her to call when she is sober. That is completely within your right.
And yes, even though she no longer pays support, the visitation order is still in effect and enforceable.
You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.
Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you.
I wish you and yours the best in 2015,