Filing for guardianship?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by !overwhelmed!, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    Anyone have any information on filing for guardianship of my 7 month old grand baby? My daughter & idiot boyfriend just got out of jail yesterday. She texted me at 6:30am to please come take the baby "again" this time because boyfriend was sick & she had to go to her CalWorks program. Of course I came & got the baby. Didn't hear all day from my daughter which is unusual. Then I get a call from the landlady (living in this woman's RV for 2 months - after finally leaving our home - the baby had lived here since day 1) she tells me the cops are there because boyfriend is out of control threatening to kill them, burn down their house & oh yeah he's hitting my daughter! (Who by the way "fell" last week & had a scrape under her eye & bruising on her forearms - my daughter the ex - scholarship athlete - "fell"). They had been out drinking all day & "totalled" my daughters car & are still drunk. They had stolen my husband's fathers gold coin ring back in October. We did nothing because we were told nothing would really happen to him but my daughter would be charged with a felony, & we didn't want to ruin her future. But now the only way to protect her was to press charges! I call my daughter who tells me everyone else nothing is wrong bring her her baby. I said well, it's been a rough day how about I bring her home tomorrow. Boyfriend becomes enraged & starts screaming he's going to kill me! Eventually they are hauled away. I had the baby 6 days/nights. She called everyday from jail I want to come home however when pressed about the theft, still defiant & justified! We tell her the only way to come home is to cut all ties with boyfriend. She agrees, but needs 1 more day...fine. calls the next night to be picked up. I go get her, oh yeah she also accused my husband of rape too, which is why I had to go get her. Bring her home, baby is thrilled, next morning it starts. Have to talk/text him how to get his stuff cause landlady just met him in court this AM with a restraining order! landlady has now had enough because he wants to fight the TRO so now my daughter has no place to live except my home, no car, no car seat, etc. She gets a call that she has a P/T job starting Tuesday, will we please drive her back & forth 20 miles 1 way? We explain yes, but she also needs a bus schedule. We have lives too. All the while plotting with boyfriend to get out & find a place to live together again. She gets upset, my husband gets upset & now she's just going to leave! I tell her I'm calling CPS because she has nowhere to go & no car seat to protect the baby. Naturally she finds a gullible friend to come get them with an old car seat that apparently the sheriff thinks is just fine. Now I have no real idea where they are & the baby is in danger from what I can only hope is just alcoholics with severe rage & no money! I don't know what to do. File for custody or guardianship? How do I "find" them to serve them? We also have another issue that our landlord stopped paying their mortgage & we have to find a new home by mid-April! Nothing even remotely acceptable in the area & this is my other daughter's Sr. Year & her track season is almost upon us! (She is hoping for a scholarship). Sorry for the very long story, I'm sure I've left a lot out. But this started 2/5/2015 & it's 2/11/2015. Anybody know what I should do? We are not rich & cannot afford an attorney. Please help if you have any information. CPS said I really need to file otherwise it could be said I knew of a potential hazard & did nothing. I don't want to raise my grandchild, I want her parents to be normal & do it. But I can't let her be in this horrid lifestyle of constant yelling, cursing, drinking & God only knows what else. And I have been living with her or at least babysitting her almost all her life, I cannot let her go to strangers! Please help!!!
     
  2. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry you're going through this. I will try to give you some info......

    I'm in CA. and filed for guardianship for my then 11 year old granddaughter. I don't know about custody. I found an organization that helped me to file,here in CA. it was called Grandparents parenting again. You can go on your states Superior court system website and search guardianship.It will tell you what to do and here it supplied all the paperwork as well. I did all the paperwork myself. It wasn't easy, but it was doable. First I filed for temporary guardianship where you usually have to prove that the child is in danger or is being neglected. You can also check that for your state on the website, or do a search asking that question. It's a process. It took me 4 months to go through the system, but I did get the temporary guardianship right away.

    You may want to file for temporary guardianship right away, until you all can figure out what the next step is.

    Here is an example: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-guardianship.htm

    There is a member here,Patriotsgirl, who just went this route with her young grandson, you may want to start a private conversation with her, which you do by going up to the right on this page under INBOX and put in her name. You might ask her for info or pointers or advice. If you look up Patriotsgirls posts, in Substance Abuse, you will find a thread on guardianship. She may not be on the forum this late.

    Do a google search of guardianship in your state, you'll find info there. Each state is different, so look for info for your state.

    I hope that helps. I know exactly how you are feeling right now. Hang in there. Get all your ducks in order. First order of business is to get the facts, find out what you have to do, what it will cost, where you have to go. You can also search guardianship attorneys who may do pro bono, or do a search in your area for grandparent advice or help with guardianship. In doing all the paperwork myself, with the help of that Grandparenting organization, it hardly cost anything except for the filing of the paperwork which is minimal. The cost is in an attorney to do the paperwork. You don't need an attorney. But try to find someone who will help you with the paperwork, it's legalese, if you're good at that, you can do it yourself. When you have to write up why you want the guardianship, I was told by an attorney to really tell the truth, don't hold back, plead your case for the baby.

    Grandparents raising their grandkids is epidemic now, so there are really a lot of resources, you will just have to look for them in your community. Make a list of all possible resources and call every single one of them, ask for help, ask for advice, you'll find someone somewhere who will give you some help, some information. Just keep trying. I did that, I asked everyone to help me and I did get it too. It's a process, you can figure it out.

    Take a couple of deep breathes and take this one step at a time. Get your grand baby safe first. Take care of YOU too.
     
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  3. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    Thanks recoveringenabler! I am in CA as well. I will check out this information! It's late so I will contact patriotsgirl tomorrow if she's around it will be great to read her thread too. Thanks again!
     
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I just thought of something else. Once you find out where your court is, you can file tomorrow for temporary guardianship, you can get the papers at the court house. You have to do them all in triplicate, you have to figure it out, but I just remembered that I filed in one day and the court date was pretty soon afterwards. The charge is minimal too.

    I also had a social worker through CPS who helped me a lot. She even went to court with me.

    The links below may be able to point you in a direction in whatever county you live in.......call them all!!

    Good luck!

    https://lawyers.justia.com/legalservice/sonoma-county-guardianship-clinic-11013

    http://www.sonic.net/~granyany/gran....org/pdf/General Program Information 3-08.pdf
     
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

  6. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    Thanks! They told my husband tomorrow they are closed so I'll have to wait until Friday and PRAY for my grand baby! Thank you so much!
     
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I've only done it with the help of an attorney, who showed up in court and actually spoke for me.
    Not sure if it's typical, but the judge asks if the individual was there ... NOT! Most people are not thrilled about it.
    I filed for my 86-yr-old, mentally ill, dementia-addled, oxycocodne-dependent cousin.
    No, she was not in court. :)
    I see from the notes above that you can do it yourself and save money. :)
    You are loving and caring. You GO!~
     
  8. stressedmama

    stressedmama Active Member

    Hubs and I filed for Guardianship of our 3-yr-old grandson. We're on the other side of the country but we were able to file an emergency petition and received emergency guardianship within a few hours of filing. Difficult Child was in detox and his dad lives far away and as far as we knew, had no contact and was not paying child support. Obviously neither of them were there.

    Two weeks later, there was another hearing for temporary guardianship. Neither parent showed up for that hearing either so the Court granted it.

    Now we're scheduled for a hearing in April for permanent guardianship. I'm sure neither parent will be there for that one, either. We told Difficult Child about it and she asked, " Do I need to be there?" Uh NO. She's shown no interest in getting him back and the only reason she would go would be to tell the Court we can have him.

    Welcome to the grandparents club. It's exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time!
     
  9. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I have never had to deal with anything like this so all I can offer is a Hug!!
    I pray everything will work out for you and your grandchild.
     
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    How are you doing today Loverwhelmed? Feeling a little calmer?
     
  11. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    Pretty scared & angry. The more I find out how sick she is & the lies...I am in fear for my grand baby. The court is open tomorrow so I'll be there first thing to file for guardianship. Unfortunately since I don't know "where" they are, I cannot file for emergency guardianship. CPS has nowhere to go to look! The best I can do is "meet" them at their hearing on March 5th. Until then, I pray & get "my house" (literally & figuratively) in order. Thanks for asking. You guys are all so great. I really thought she was normal, but I realize she has a serious mental problem. Not sure what will happen nor how long it will take. Either way, I'm dammed if I do, dammed if I don't! Thanks to everyone here!
     
  12. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Hi!! We have temp guardianship of our grandson. When our daughter failed her drug test and was sent back to jail, I filed. I went to the probate court and they gave me the paperwork. I brought the papers to jail and she signed them so we didn't have to have a hearing or anything and we already had the baby with us so no need to find them. The judge signed off immediately and we were done. Very, very easy and I think that may be because it is such an epidemic these days. :(
    I am not sure how to handle when you don't know where they are. I pray you are able to get that baby very soon!!
     
  13. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    UGH...I have a lead as to who my daughter and baby are staying with but no address, and of course for how long? I can't exactly call the sheriff for a well check for the baby if I have no address, also it would have to be when something was actually going on. If they are just watching TV and all is well, that won't do any good! I mean the drug abuse is constant, but...I just am lost. The courts are closed until Tuesday...I stayed up til 4:30am piecing together a pattern of behavior from her cell phone - quite the treasure trove of shocking info - to show CPS only to learn they says it's all "hearsay" even though it is literally their own texts, voicemails etc...At this point I don't think I can do much but file restraining orders on both of them & file for guardianship and prove they are unfit. How to serve them will be interesting as well. She just got a "job" for 2 days a week that starts on Tuesday, so I know where she will be and for how long (theoretically of course, if she shows up - no car!) Not him though, I suspect he's at his grandmother's house. I am seriously thinking of hiring a private investigator, but I really don't have the $$ for that! I need sleep...and God to let me know what to do!
     
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Not sure of the rules in your state, but you need to document everything. If she is violent to anyone, call the cops. If the boyfriend is violent, call the cops. If they are intoxicated, driving intoxicated with the child or without, driving without a car seat, etc... call the cops.

    Also keep a log. Get a notebook and write down everything. Include date, time, all people who were there, what was said and what was done. The more you document, the better your chances.

    Keep calling CPS and reporting abuse when you see it. Have OTHER PEOPLE also call, ones who are not relatives. If all the calls are from you, your daughter can claim that you just want her daughter and are making things up or trying to cause trouble. If others call, then it is often taken more seriously.

    Get the Aspire app put out by Robin McGraw's foundation. It looks like a news app on your phone, but it records everything going on around you and it calls numbers that you designate. It is designed to provide rapid assistance, to let law enforcement know what is going on before they get into the situation, and to provide actual recordings to help in court if needed. Best of all???? It is totally FREE.

    Be aware that it may be hard to get custody. You would be best off doing it when your daughter spends a few days in jail or whatever that she cannot keep the baby for. Or if she goes off to a party for a couple of days, or if she asks you to babysit but does not come home for a day or two (if she does that). While you have the child and she is unable to for whatever reason/choice, go to the court and get a temp order. You may need an attorney for this and it may be hard.

    Around here it can either be super easy or take an act of the Lord himself for a grand to get custody or even for many parents to get sole physical custody. Two counties over it is really easy for parents to lose custody over drug, alcohol and abuse issues. So it varies a LOT based on where you live.

    I hope the child's best interests are what happens, and that she is not exposed to any more abuse.
     
  15. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    Thanks Susiestar. I will definitely look into that app. I only wish I had it when my daughter was still here! All the screaming & cursing (while holding the baby & her crying) would have been nice to have on audio tape...I have her cell phone with all of the emails, texts & voicemails etc. A font of information to be sure, I am using it to help me build a log. Between my cell phone & hers I can at least go back to late August. Not a long time, but it shows a pattern. Baths maybe once a week if the poor baby was lucky. Blaming our whole family for absolutely everything that was happening to her. There are some lovely texts about hanging my husband from the back deck & driving nails "slowly" into her sister's head, from the boyfriend! All the while wishing, hoping & praying to get their own place...but not willing to work for it! No in fact there are texts about lying to the housecleaning employer they were both trying to work for, lying to me to watch the baby, & going out to "ask people for money" so they could be together all day! So much drug & alcohol use documented, so much profanity - which I realize is not a crime - so much fraud on the government's dime! My kid knew nothing of the system...this is all his influence! But she has gone willingly! They are in LOVE!! This baby doesn't stand a chance with these two idiots calling the shots.
    This is so much work and I have no idea if any judge will even look at it or immediately dismiss it out of hand! I have resigned myself to the fact that this is next to impossible but I MUST try. If for no other reason, than when my granddaughter comes to me when she turns 18, I can show her that I tried everything! This is so strange to think your own child hates you! After having such an awesome relationship their entire lives...one person can step in & it literally all goes to hell!
    The court was NOT open on Friday, so now I will go in first thing on Tuesday morning & file restraining orders & hopefully the emergency & permanent guardianship paperwork at the same time. If they show up for the restraining order, I can have them served for the guardianship papers then. I think my only hope now is the DA. We've asked him NOT to barter the charges down, to hit them both with full felonies. I doubt that will happen for my child since it's her first offense, and everything on his file is all restraining orders! 3 from his own mother! I really wish I could get them court ordered drug/alcohol rehabilitation & mental heath. But everyone keeps telling me that just doesn't exist. Plus these two idiots don't even think they have a problem! Sorry for the vent! Gotta get back to my log. I have to be prepared for Tuesday at 8:00am sharp! Thanks for letting me have a place to get it out!
     
  16. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Vent away loverwhelmed. You have a lot on your plate.

    Since you are in CA. as I am, when you write up the reason you are asking for emergency and temporary guardianship, write down everything you can think of that puts that child in danger, including your fears and your daughter's neglect, anger issues, drug use, ALL of it. A guardianship attorney who gave me advice, told me that was very important, do not be nice, be truthful, do not protect your daughter, protect the child. Be succinct but state your case with all the facts, with as much of the dramatic truth in it as you can muster. The attorney told me that the judge is a human being, appeal to his/her humanity. I was awarded temporary and then permanent guardianship solely on what I stated on that document, solely on my fears and concerns for my granddaughter. There was no physical abuse, it was mostly neglect and my daughter's anger and basic inability to care for her child, putting her daughter in inappropriate and even dangerous situations.

    If you put your whole story over in Substance abuse, those folks can likely give you good advice about the court ordered drug and alcohol rehab and mental health, they are well versed.

    This is a tough thing you're doing, it isn't easy, just put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time, as you go you'll learn what the next step is. I had to do that too. It was daunting, but I did it one step at a time and the end result was positive. It is only overwhelming because you don't know how to do it, but........you soon will. Within a pretty short time, I was pretty knowledgable in court proceedings and guardianship issues. Get as much help and support as you can, ask questions, seek advice, seek out professionals who can offer you information. There is also a lot you can read about online.

    Hang in there. You're doing fine. Your heart is in the right place. Stay in the present moment. None of us know how the future is going to turn out. Don't catastrophize about the future, just do what is in front of you. That's all any of us can do.
     
  17. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    I would like to add: Call you local domestic violence center. Even though, ultimately your daughter is the main victim of DV, the spillover is effecting the child (another victim) and all those others, including yourself that are being threatened by the boyfriend. Domestic Violence Centers usually have the legal information to help you sort out this mess that has become your life. Use the domestic violence center as a resource to sort out your grandchild's life and for support on getting your own life back on track. No matter what, once you have your grandchild, you are going to have to put the lives of these two dysfunctional people in your rear-view mirror. I pray that you are able to get the baby back home safe with you as quickly as possible.
     
  18. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    Well, I have my court date set for Thursday March 5th for the hearing for guardianship. I have no idea what to expect. I have a mountain of "evidence" from her cell phone. I got an affidavit from the landlord as she left town today to visit her ailing mom in SoCal and will be gone for several weeks. She states everything that happened on the night it all went down, (Feb 5th) the crashing the car, being drunk, threatening her & her family & property, including "her seeing him hit my daughter", and hearing him "yelling" in the trailer while alone with the baby (babysitting) on other occasions & all of the yelling between the 2 of them since they moved in on December 1. I've been told so many things by so many people...I don't want to come across as a crazy banshee trying to "steal" my daughter's baby.

    Mostly my thinking is to approach this in small statements with hard copy evidence "ready to go" for each statement. I'm thinking a binder...since so much of it is from texting. And now my husband is driving me crazy...here is what I have in the order he thinks it should go, ugh! This is so frustrating:

    #1) Violence:
    I have document #'s of the multiple restraining orders against him, 3 of which were from his own mother & she also had one against my daughter. The court just issued a TRO against him for the landlord as he threatened to burn down her house & kill her & her family. (the landlord did not seek a permanent order as she evicted my daughter so she felt there would be no further contact.) I'm supposed to be getting printouts from the sheriff's office regarding all the past incidents from his home & his grandparents home (he being the boyfriend). Apparently since 2006 there have been 83 incident calls to the sheriff from his home & 17 from his grandparents home, I'm thinking that's a lot. I have the affidavit, I have 2 audio recordings (voicemails) from the landlord on 2 different dates (a week apart) telling them to "shut up, take a walk & cool down" & "is he alone in there screaming with that baby in there". I only have our family's eyewitness account of my daughter's injuries/bruising from her "fall", I managed to find photos of the mark on the baby's forehead from a few days later. (I have a before & after within days of each other). I'm bringing my husband, 18 year old daughter & myself for our eyewitness accounts of all of us having to take the crying baby out of her hands while she is literally screaming on the phone at him. Texts from a "new" friend worried about his abusive behavior toward my daughter. I have multiple texts regarding how much they hate us (all - his family, her family, their friends) and "can't wait to be out on their own".

    #2) Theft:
    I have the evidence of the felony for burglary & selling stolen merchandise. I have one audio recording (voicemail) from my husband's phone from the pawn broker who they sold the stolen merchandise to.

    #3) Drug use
    Most all of my "evidence" is from their own texts to each other & their friends. Regarding; getting high (multiple times a day from him) either from pot (various forms) or drinking some even "while with the baby" or when he's coming to get them both.

    #4) Neglect
    I have texts regarding them taking the baby to the local fairgrounds (where they hang out & get high) and her coming back with a sunburn at 3 months old. I have texts between them regarding her not bathing the baby frequently enough. Texts about how the baby at 3 months old, is just being a "brat", crying to get her way...

    #5) Gaming the system
    Their deciding to lie to me & her employer instead of going to her housecleaning job & go downtown instead to "ask for money", while I watch the baby, all while living off welfare & food stamps. I also have my conversations with the local welfare fraud investigator (after he came to our house) who said he can "neither confirm nor deny" his investigating them for fraud.

    #6) Animal neglect & uncleanliness of their dwelling
    The animal control had to come out & take the 3 cats (1 litter box) out of the tiny trailer they & the baby had been living in, after they spent 5 days in jail. (It's not even a 5th wheel, it's a 1 bed hauler from the early 70's at best - maybe 30 feet) Previous to that, they had a puppy/dog they also had to give to the "no kill" pound for their inability to care for it. (all of this is in texts)

    I also have the document # of his father's past felony back in 1996...not that it has any relevance other than the proverbial "apple".

    Closing with the facts of: 1) INCREASING violence. 2) Escalating drug & alcohol abuse. 3) Willingness to commit crime. 4) Inability to care for themselves or the baby. 5) UNABLE to deal with reality. 6) They have totaled her car, so no transportation. 7) No jobs. 8) Not sure where they are living - we think with his grandma (68yrs) - who is taking care of her dying husband & guardian of one of her great grandchildren, a boy of elementary school age. 9) His inability to get a CA drivers license.

    If anyone has any help, suggestions etc., I'm all ears! Thanks.
     
  19. !overwhelmed!

    !overwhelmed! Member

    My phone "bonged" saying mid-west mom had replied to my post, but I can't find anything. Maybe it was an error, just checking. Thanks.
     
  20. DoneDad

    DoneDad Active Member

    I don't have any advice, just moral support and wanted to thank you for posting as this is helpful because I can foresee us having to go down this same road in the near future. Please keep posting so we know how this unfolds and how the process works. We're also in CA.

    You're really to be commended for stepping up for your grand baby.
     
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