Question for sister re: getting custody of granddaughter

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by PatriotsGirl, Jun 17, 2015.

  1. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Okay, so my sister has a Difficult Child who is married and has two children by two different fathers and is now pregnant with her third (this one by the man she is married to). The husband was in the military and they moved to North Carolina. He has since been dishonorably discharged (we have no idea for what). She has had her children taken away from her from DFC (niece claims from pot but we suspect it is a lot bigger than that). The biological father of the little boy took custody of the boy. The little girl is in foster care and has been for over a year now. My niece gets supervised visits.

    My sister in Massachusetts now wants to get custody of the little girl from DFC. She went to the courthouse in Massachusetts and they told her they could not help her.

    Does anyone know what she has to do? Our situation was so different because it was the same state, DFC was not involved and Difficult Child signed the papers willingly. Does she need to drive down to NC to file down there?

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm not in USA but... even here, you have to file where the child IS (or is supposed to be). Here... child welfare is more than happy to assist extended family with taking responsibility for a child in care. If that is the case there, then her first step would be to contact DFC.
  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    She is planning on driving to NC next week to file the paperwork with the courts. She wants custody of the granddaughter and doesn't want a thing from the state. She has been trying to call DFC and of course cannot reach anyone. The caseworker had surgery and no one has heard from her since...
  4. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    She'll have to hire an attorney. If she can get her daughter to sign the child over all the better. How much does she see this child? Does the child know her well?
  5. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    Her daughter would most definitely sign over the child to my sister. She is praying my sister can get custody of her child. But can she do that if DFCS has the child?

    The child knew my sister when they were up in Massachusetts but they have been gone a good while now. I am not sure if she will remember her or not...
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    She NEEDS an attorney. The child's state will likely want a home study done as well as a background check, etc.. Not wanting $$ from the state for support may or may not matter as they will likely insist the parents both pay child support if they can. This is something for the lawyer to help with. the lawyer should be one in the child's state who knows family law. Once she finds an attorney (and she should check with the state bar in the child's state to verify the lawyer's credentials). The state bar website may also be helpful in finding an attorney or calling them might be helpful in the search to find the lawyer and then she should verify credentials through them.

    It won't likely be a fast process, but I hope that she is able to get custody. Without a lawyer this will be very confusing and difficult. It will still be confusing and difficult with a lawyer, but the lawyer will help make it run more smoothly and seem more logical - if that is possible.
  7. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    My niece has a lawyer and my sister is driving down to NC next week so they can meet with him together. :)

    I am officially finished with my term of raising my grandson (unless something goes terribly wrong and we get him back but I am not counting on that!) and now my sister is starting her journey...strange...
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Having her daughter sign over custody will make it easier, but as PG says, she'll need an attorney.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Unless the daughter (and possible their fathers) sign over custody, the court has to terminate the rights of both parents. When we adopted Jumper it was a private adoption and both the mother and the father (a felon in prison) had to sign his rights away. If the felon hadn't we would not have been able to adopt her. Most likely his family would have gotten custody against the birthmother's wishes. I also assume that the fathers will be notified, although not sure about that either if they have not been in the picture. But if they are on the birth certificate and have not had their rights terminated in court, they very well could be offered custody. Scary, I know, and hopefully not true. We did adopt a child from NJ and we lived in IL. We had to have an interstate compact sent from NJ to IL giving us temporary custody (this was the crazy kid who ended up doing damage in our house to our pets and younger children. He was from out of state).

    This IS family and maybe it's different. To be safe, I'd get a lawyer for myself too if I w ere this couple. We (parents) had a lawyer for all of our adoptions, even the international ones. We did not understand the paperwork and it really had to be done through a lawyer.

    Wishing these parents=to-be good luck!!!
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015