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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11823
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My 3 year old son lives with s grandmother (s father's

Customer Question

My 3 year old son lives with his grandmother (his father's side). Grandmother filed for guardianship in 2013. I did not agree to her having guardianship of my son, and I did not sign any documents from court to give up my right as a mother. My son continued to live at his grandmother's because I did not have a home at the time. Athe that time in my life, I was uneducated about my parental rights as a mother. His grandmother told me I was not allowed to take my son anywhere during my visit, let alone, take him to live with me. I listened to her and her manipulation, which convinced me to let my son continue to stay with her. I went out of the country in 2015 for my father's funeral. And I was stuck there for one year. I finally made it back to California last month. I want to get custody of my son. How do I find out if I have loss custody of him? What are my rights as a mother?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Amber E. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question.

Once a judgment is rendered regarding the custody of a minor child, its terms determine the rights of all the parties involved - be they the parents and/or third parties. So, the first place to begin is a review of the judgment itself. Usually, custody and/or guardianship actions are filed where the child resides or where either parent resides, so checking the courts there is where one would want to start in getting a copy of the judgment.

Then, it is important to carefully review the judgment to determine what those rights are.

Lastly, if the judgment is unfavorable, there is a right to pursue a modification of that judgment.

Parents often file for a modification of unfavorable judgments once their circumstances have changed. For example, a parent who did not have a stable home or financial situation before might have that now and file a modification to regain custody of their child.

Generally, an attorney is required, due to the complexity of these actions. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can contact your local legal aid office for assistance. However, it is also possible to file on your own using the court's self help center, which can help you get access to necessary forms and instructions for filing.