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I am a concerned grandmother about the welfare of my

Customer Question
I am a concerned...

I am a concerned grandmother about the welfare of my grandchildren, is there anything I can do without getting social services involved?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

No, I have not taken any steps

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

What would the lawyer want to know?

Submitted: 3 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
4/3/2018
Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,470
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Thank you for your patience on this. Unless you take care of the matter privately, you'll have to get the government involved, even if it is not social services themselves. But there is a way if you want to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of the kids.

It's not out of the ordinary for adults to try to arrange for custody of children. To do this, you are going to need to get guardianship over the child. If you are looking to have legal rights over the child, then you must go through your state's court system. It typically starts with filing a petition, which is just a request through the courts to remove the rights of at least one of the parents in favor of you. Once you fill out the petition, you should make three copies: one to you, one for the court, and one to the other parties (typically the parents). It is critical to understand that the courts are bound to look at what is in the best interests of the child above all else. This means they will look into who and how the child’s health, education, welfare, and safety are best going to be served. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient for the petitioner, but because the kids cannot protect themselves, the court takes it upon itself to protect them. The bright side is that if you understand this in advance, then you will have an edge when you are dealing with the other side because you’ll be seeing this process through the court’s eyes.

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Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Regardless, once you have filed the documents, someone who is over 18 and not a party to the case will serve the document on the other party. They will have a chance to respond to the petition and they will serve you as well. The court will likely set a date where they will either order mediation or they will make a decision at that time. If you can’t agree at mediation or if the court decides it needs more info, then it is likely you would go to a trial where you can put on witnesses, provide your own testimony, and let the judge make a ruling after that. Those are less likely scenarios, but they come up on occasion.

The order is enforceable from the moment it is entered and if a party fails to abide by the order, then they are going to be held in contempt of court.

How else can I help you today?

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Customer reply replied 3 months ago
Thank you
Family Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

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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.

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