Progress-- but slow going

Quick history as I haven't been here in awhile. Sorry in advance as this is long and probably confusing...
25 yr old mentally ill/substance abusing son went to jail for 4 months, then immediately onto a 90 day intensive inpatient treatment center (first time in IITC, countless under a year non violent jail stints). girlfriend was pregnant when he went, she is also mentally ill with rapid cycling bipolar (latest diagnoses), severe anxiety, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Son has done well so far. He's been sans medications since two months or so before arriving at Inpatient Center about 45 days ago...the jail psychiatric had him on depakote for a few, but not long. They think now that he's been off of drugs (meth, opioids, etc) that he may not need medications. Psychiatrist and son think that more than not, the illicit drugs have been causing his psychosis problems. He's been seeing his therapist a few times a week and going to two meetings a day, lots of group therapy, counseling, life skills, anger management, etc. He's been sober for going on 6 months or so and seems determined to stay this way.

The girlfriend has had the baby. He's seen and met his baby daughter--this was a major turning point I think for him, just seeing and holding his baby girl._ girlfriend on the other hand is giving me constant grief and not letting me see grand daughter. She lives with her parents, where her mother is bat %#$%# crazy. When I ask if I can come see baby, it usually sparks a fight where I refuse to argue, then both the girlfriend and her mother non stop text me VERY VERY long winded bi polar sounding threats and nastiness. The more I refuse to engage in that, the more they text and threaten to leave state, hide the baby, never let me see them, lie on me, lie on my son, the list is endless... In my state grandparents have rights. I can file and have threatened to do so and will be doing so soon if I cannot come to an agreement with them to see baby regularly. First, the court likes to see you try to be cordial and figure it out without intervention. Which is where I am at...documenting, keeping crazy texts from both girlfriend and mother....

The GFs dad has come over to my side, called me yesterday while I was at work and begged me to PLEASE "take the baby away" from girlfriend. He said he would go to court and stand up for me that girlfriend is incapable of caring for baby. That she is so mentally ill, that her sister and her mother are giving 90 percent of care to baby. UGHGGHH. I had to stop him as I know it's just not that simple. These are church going bible thumping people who do not believe in mental health services, they think GOD will fix all. It's been a crazy train roller coaster. Maybe, just maybe I have convinced the dad to get proper help for the daughter. I suggested before he evict her, he give her the clear ultimatum of getting therapy and staying on medications, or getting evicted. I think he's with me on this....she has been in the system for at least the past 6 yrs but the mother always says its ok for her to quit that it's up to GOD anyway to help her....ughhh. Too much to explain here so I will leave it at this....Just hoping the Dad sticks with helping me. I think he will because not only has he had it with his "crazy" wife, but also the "crazy"daughter. He's on his last legs with both of them...I almost feel bad for him, but in reality it's been him enabling the two hens for EVER. Neither have ever worked, and have no clue about anything in reality other than "using" men to get what they want. Ughhh...I digress....sorry.

BUT, finally, I am going over there this Sunday. Sitting the whole messed up family down and trying to sort out an agreement where girlfriend will not be kicked out unless she continues to refuse treatment (have the dad on board to support me, and the two hens girlfriend and mom usually follow what he says). And to sort out an agreeable arrangement so that I can start building a bond with new baby grand daughter. By the time I leave THEY WILL KNOW I CAN BE THEIR BEST ALLY OR WORST ENEMY. I am preparing for battle, but first things first. Calm, cool, and collected, gather evidence....keep dad on my side....

As for son, I am very proud of him right now, also going to see him Sunday. He told girlfriend it's over, no chance of ever being romantically together. Ever. Again. While he's been incarcerated, we all have been notified that girlfriend has been seeing another guy since early February, a few short weeks after he was jailed. A guy who she is using to buy her things non stop. GFs father told us about it, but there's also half a dozen other guys she's been "playing". Son is done. There is no trust between either of them, my son's fault too, I KNOW....and he finally knows that moving forward is the only way.

He is free to walk out of this inpatient facility. It's not a locked place. I am so glad he hasn't done this as girlfriend played the "push/pull" game with him since day one. Last time he got back with her three weeks ago she broke it off the very next day, posting that she was "married" to some other guy, meanwhile son can see all of it on her facebook. He's been known in the past to lose his temper to the point of knocking out two men, and blackening the eyes and breaking the noses of two other men all in one fight, four men at once. Not cool I know, but my point is, if someone even looks at his mom or woman sideways, he's unable to remain calm. So, just this alone shows me he's serious about getting it together. He stayed very clean this time around. No fights, no drugs, no problems, just going to every and all meetings, therapy sessions, group therapy he can and it's showing me he's doing better. AND most of all, didn't freak out and leave to go after that "other" guy when he found out of the cheating girlfriend...thank God.

Son told her to stop contacting him (she sends private fb messages every day all day crying for him to get back with her---well not now as she's been blocked), unless it's to do with the baby. We are filing our own motions with the court next week. Even though he's in treatment he can get day passes for legal issues including this... And with her father on our side, for now, it's best to strike while the iron is hot. Although all of this could change....that family changes their minds like I change my underwear. Daily. All of it's being documented. Son is trying to turn it around, and this treatment will help his case as well as help him period...just hope he keeps on the proper trajectory. I talk to him every day, actually for long periods of time, which is nice--he's doing better one day at a time.

Any words of advice for my upcoming trip to see baby, and that whole family Sunday, would be much appreciated. :)

Even with all of this, we are blessed. I feel grateful in so many ways. One thing is youngest son just won a major competition for himself in Boston, at the national level. He's coming with me to see other son to support him too on sunday afternoon after the whole other visit deal...ugh. But feel grateful and blessed in alot of ways.
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Well-Known Member
Did girlfriend go to court? in my opinion you need court to establish paternity (since unmarried they may require a test for Son and you also to get any rights or a parenting schedule.) Any decision you make out of court is not legal and girlfriend can decide to move across the country without telling you. I strongly suggest doing this in court as a discussion at home holds no legal teeth. Written documents between you don't either. You can only make it stick in court.

Good luck to you ;)
True...part of it Sunday is getting her to sign and get notorized an Affidavit of Parentage, bc son wasn't able to be at delivery and didn't even see the baby until three days later. THen I take the form to him at rehab and he does the same on the father's side of form. Her dad is helping with that...she really is just prolonging the inevitable. The A of P is recognized as legal proof of paternity by the courts in Michigan. However, the downside is Son gives up any right to ever say there's a possibility that it's not his...but he feels strongly she's his and I am going to do what he wants done.

***Side Note in Michigan, this can also be done through the Department of Human Services, for free if the mother tries to receive any public assistance, which she surely will be if she does not do what I am asking. I put this mainly in case any one else might be dealing with this with their son. Mom can be red flagged through DHS and as soon as she tries to get benefits, she has to comply with paternity and signing or will be denied benefits.****

Wish there was an easy way...I am anticipating a struggle with her, but at this point she's held almost at "gunpoint" as her dad is putting the roof over her head and is her only support right now (besides the men's she's playing which isn't much in money). If he demands it (his threat is to kick her out), I am pretty sure she will sign it. Other reasons why she will too, pertaining to financial stability.

Also, that dad, very much so doesn't want to be financially responsible, and while my son's been in trouble he is a very high earner when he's not where he is and he 100% wants to financially support his baby. The dad has a lot at stake too, and really so does financial support until its signed and notarized. leverage. Hope it goes well. I might be too confident right now.

But if she signs I am immediately going in full force mode for every thing else....grand parent rights, my son's rights, etc. If she doesn't cooperate, things will undoubtedly get nasty. :( Not what I want...I really would be a good ally for her, if she'd straighten her act up.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet
Wow it sounds like you have your hands full! I would be fighting to see my grandchild too.

Just wanted to say good luck to you with everything.


Well-Known Member
Parenting time has to be done through the courts or else it means nothing. Notetizing an agreement doesn't matter legally in the matter of who has custody and visitation with the baby. It has to be signed by a judge in family court. Custody is important you and your son can have that baby whisked away from both of you unless the court says otherwise. I'd do it that way. It's the only legal way.
Your sons prison time may cause a court to require supervised visitation. Not sure about that.

Her mental illness won't matter unless there are police reports....she has to be proven incompetent in court. But it's better to have some legal custody days/times, even supervised, than have ex girlfriend fly off to another coast with the baby. Without court, she can do anything and she isn't breaking any laws. Most custody awards address not taking the baby too far away from the other parent.

Can you tell that my own adult child has been in a custody battle? Trust me, it's easier to do it in court than to write it down and hope flighty mother of your grand abides rather than decides to leave the state without informing your family where she is going.
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Sister's Keeper

Active Member
Hi! I am glad things are working out with your son, it seems like he has made great progress. Continue to stress to him that completing the program is the single most important thing he can do in regards to custody and visitation with his child. That and remaining on the straight and narrow. Tell him never to give the nutters a reason to deny him access to his child. Because they will.

Considering that she seems to be "popular" I would suggest a DNA test. It would be horrible to bond with, love, and support this baby and find out in a few years that she isn't really his. In addition, in many states once the father signs the birth certificate/affidavit of paternity he is still responsible for child support, even if he finds out later that the child isn't actually his.

Custody has to be set through the court or a mediator. Until your son is given legal custody of that child she is free to remove that child from the state if she pleases. Custody has nothing to do with paternity. Push to get legal custody ASAP.

I have zero advice for this meeting other than be ready to walk out if things get out of hand and be willing to contact children's services if you really think that the child is in danger. Oh, and if you haven't already consult an attorney that specializes in family law.

I am glad that things are looking up for your son. That, in and of it's own, must be a great burden lifted from your shoulders, crazy train wreck aside.

Good luck.


If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree
detachingmother, I too am from Michigan. I love the fact that Michigan has laws in place for grandparents. I think you have a good plan and a plan B. Paternity has to be established first and then move forward. I wish you best of luck. Congrats on son's progress and willingness to be there for his baby.

pigless in VA

Well-Known Member
Hello, DM! I am so very proud of elder son's progress. Those are some huge steps in the right direction. I am also happy to hear of younger son's competition win.

Congratulations on the birth of your granddaughter. I am so sorry that the "nutters" are in charge. It is impossible to predict what will happen. I will cross many body parts that Sunday goes well.
Thanks everyone! Yes, I am so glad son is doing better. One day at a time.
There are slips, but not with drugs, just so far with addict thinking type stuff. I keep reminding him his thinking will get better and more clear after a year or so of continued sobriety. he catches himself now when he is slipping which is good. He's forward moving, which is all I can ask of him right now.

I mean I know court is the most important for custody, but baby is still only 5 weeks's going to take me a little time to get the paternity established then court in rolling motion. Paternity comes first, and yep in michigan a signed and notarized Affadavit of Parentage is enough and recognized as just fine to establish then start custody motions.

girlfriend, she DID sign and we did get her part notarized. Now it's son's turn which we have to wait until he can get a day pass next week.

Yep, she was a popular girl and still is with other men. Slutty, even though I hate this word. Son is whipped and is convinced baby is his...and, well, she does look just like his baby picture... I'm inclined to emotionally support this if it's what he wants, so long as he stays sober. Even if that means he forfeits his right to legal DNA after signing the affidavit of parentage...:( Of course legal DNA is what I initially wanted, but it's his choice...although, I am also inclined to believe grand baby is son's baby. Once this A of P is signed and submitted and done, never again in Michigan can Son ever say this baby is not his---this form DOES hold up in our court of law for everything for filing motions for custody to child support...although we can do DNA all day long, it'll never mean a thing again other than a positive or negative parentage answer. His choice.

Side note: I am having a DNA done when son gets out or as soon as I have the baby in my care for a day or two alone...hopefully soon. Just for good measure and to tell ME whether or not I need to fight so hard...

I am trying to do some of this on my own sans attorney due to costs and other pending many expenses at the moment AND not wanting to pay for what Son should be paying for himself...his side of things...(filing for grandparent rights in Michigan is doable for most people, not expensive to just do on your own once parentage is established---mostly only filing fees if all goes well)..., and baby isn't even 6 weeks old yet...slow going for some of these reasons... and for now I feel she is safe...not bc of mother so much, but bc gfs sister is helping do most the care (degree in child development and I feel trustworthy).

I did see baby Sunday as planned. Seems ok, but some verbal arguing between girlfriend and her own mother around baby, according the GFs dad. It's Not enough bad-unfit parenting for me to get custody. See, yet another facet of this whole ordeal is the sister lives there helping too, it's NOT like I can go in and prove unfit mother hood, etc...they would have me and CPS hoodwinked before it even got started...if that makes sense. No proof means no case really, and at least one adult(the sister who will totally cover for girlfriend) over there will put a stop to me trying to take custody. The timing isn't on my side at the moment, so just laying parentage ground work first... doing what I can...and with the baby being only 5 weeks old, there is no established CPS case/cases or anything YET. Unfortunately, my and her dad's word isn't worth anything yet.

Some things are better in Michigan, as far as going about dad's getting equal parenting time and/or custody, but I know from professional experience and knowing many people working in this state with and for CPS, I don't have a chance in hell right yet of personally getting custody, not even temporary...and for me to get girlfriend riled up this early on would not be in my best interest or the baby's.

Not worried about her leaving state, as she has literally zero money. All she has is a list of loser bum men she talks to who might buy her something here or there small...

I am going back there this Thursday for a day visit, and I feel by next week I will have them (the sister, mother, gfs mother) softened up enough to just bring baby home with me at least a few days next week. girlfriend is a lot for the whole family over there to take, and I am seeing that they are all about ready for a break. I am laying the ground work as though I am an ally who wants to be there to help and be a part of my grand daughters life, in a big way...not to harm or prove mother unfit... I really would like to see girlfriend/baby mama get help and medications and therapy.... and I mean stay in it, not lie and give up so easily...her dad put the ultimatum down, girlfriend is now on xanax, the wrong medication, albeit, but a medication to help keep her calm. Next we are working on her getting into therapy asap.'s where we are today..GFs dad is also still on my side....he hung out in the living room with me and the baby and my youngest son for a few hours discussing what needs to be done(I should say here that I have known the dad for years, as I went to school with him back in the day) was a rather awkward visit, as the GFs mother "hid" in another room, but I am guessing it's bc I told her before hand, any attempt at "dysfunction" or arguing or chaos in my presence might lead me to call CPS..long story here...this is a mixed up mess, but forward moving we go....

I know court is most likely in our very near future, but first things first--Paternity established. I also know the GFs sister is about to make a move...for guardianship. at least I think she was considering per the dad, but in MIchigan my son has more rights than in other states, as do I...the lawyer will be put off until it's necessary, and if sister makes this move I will need to seek counsel as I cannot figure that out on my own. Most paper work, motions to file, etc I can figure long as the sister keeps her nose out of it, and frankly she's as broke as the rest of the tribe so I think just her knowing I will make her pay every last penny she has..., if she attempts this and I think and hope that will back her down.

***son is doing daily video visits with his baby...he made baby laugh yesterday, I think the first laughing cute and happy he has this technology to let his baby see his face and hear his voice***and happy girlfriend is allowing this to take place. But in a way, son is now placating her...being very friendly although sending wrong message but he feels he has to so he can see his baby for now...and right now this is all he has...I am grateful he has this little opportunity for him today.

Hope this isn't too rambly, it's long, but I have been super busy and not alot of time and this is a very nice outlet for parents and "grammas". lol Thanks again all for listening. Been a very long road, but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel for now.
detachingmother, I too am from Michigan. I love the fact that Michigan has laws in place for grandparents. I think you have a good plan and a plan B. Paternity has to be established first and then move forward. I wish you best of luck. Congrats on son's progress and willingness to be there for his baby.
Yes, I am lucky to be in Michigan--so is son for that matter. It could be like South Carolina, where dad's are not as important as Mom's. Michigan recognizes both parental rights at all costs, and grand parents rights, thank God. Thanks.

However, While we have grandparents rights, in 2013 I think it is, they changed a part of that law, but it's not widely recognized. One thing is that we have to show that the baby/child will be harmed in some way, psychologically or otherwise by not seeing said grandparent. And we have to possibly show that by only being with the mother always baby will be harmed in some's a little unclear now. Not as straight forward as it used to be... Still it shouldn't be to difficult to get what I want. I have to admit, I am a little nervous about this new tidbit.

They also look at current formed bonds between grand parent and child, which is why I HAVE to be super nice to baby's mom so I can keep seeing her regularly now, can't upset the applecart right now. Established bonds are very important in the court looks like I will be having quite a few four hour round trips in my future to GFs house. UGH. lol.

Also, we have to try to come to some agreement without involving court first. But if that fails, they will and do step in to help get something set in stone...

I am not asking for anything unreasonable. I don't think anyway. Four days a month, with a few over nights. Fingers crossed just waiting now on son to sign affidavit of parentage and then hoping that doesn't take long to process, then onward for my own rights.


Well-Known Member
My son is lucky too. Missouri presumes 50/50 parenting time and because ex, who really doesn't want him to see his son, moved and tried to enroll my grand in another school, my son took her back to court. This is Custody Part II. This has probably cost him $60,000 by now. My ex, bless him, knows his ex is nuts and is helping him. He has a great lawyer. She has Son is on the way to winning soul residential and legal custody. It was shared, but ex is not cooperating. If Son had not gone to court the first time he could not have stopped her from moving grandson from his beloved school where he is doing really well. Judges don't like the kids being forced to switch schools. Sons ex moved and tried to change schools to make it harder for Son to see his son.

It will backfire on her big time.
But she could have done it if they had not already been to court and had a Judge sign their parenting plan.

Don't let your son get cheated out of his rights. girlfriend could meet some online honey and who offers her a place to live with him in Alaska. Without court, she could do it. Please be careful. This happens.

In Missouri, grandparents have limited rights. If the grandchild lived with grandma for six months you can get visitation. That's it. The bar is very high for grandparent rights. Please study the law and get a lawyer. It's not that simple to get visitation as a grandmother. It is almost easier to just see grandchild when son has him.

My son lives in another state. When I visit him, I see grandson. If it were up to ex, I would not ever be allowed to see him. She hates my son and everyone connected to him. Fortunately, legally she can not control who my son allows grandson to see during his parenting time and he has 50/50.

Most states are moving toward 50/50, but it is still safer for all if there is a parenting plan signed by a judge. If not, no matter how nice you are, once this girlfriend meets her new love, she may change her attitude of cooperation.

Please be careful. Kudos to your son!!
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