What can I do to keep custody of my grandchild?

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What can I do to keep custody of my grandchild?

I was an intervener in my son’s divorce and was given custody of his daughter until such time that either parent should petition the court for custody. My son now has a woman living with him that has a very shady background and appears to have no morals and I will not allow his daughter to visit him when she is there. I don’t refuse visitation in general, only when the woman is there. He can visit her at our home any time and she can be at his house when she wants unless the woman is there. He is threatening to take me to court and says his not paying child support does not matter.

Asked on May 23, 2011 under Family Law, Oklahoma

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, in most states, grand parents do not have rights to custody as a mandatory outcropping of the law. The only time non parents obtain custody is when both parents are unfit and the next in line has volunteered or is seen by the court as a suitable guardian or quasi parent. You are lucky to have obtained custody of your granddaughter. But do understand that custody cannot be the equivalent of being the court. In every state, visitation is a separate issue than child support. One does not depend on the other. So your son is correct on that issue; however, and this is a big however, if you feel there is a safety issue for your granddaughter you can certainly file a court order to amend the custody agreement to make it more strict and further, to file a restraining order against that woman and possibly your son until this is all squared away. Tell the court the situation you would like and feel safe in to allow your son to see his daughter and what you will prohibit and if the court orders it, he has to abide or risk losing visitation altogether.


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