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Author Topic: need help with custody long post  (Read 1551 times)


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need help with custody long post
« on: Jan 22, 2004, 08:50:19 AM »
I am hoping that somebody might be able to advise me on my situation.  It is a long story and I am hoping to make it brief as possible.

I am a step parent, and my husbands daughter thankfully came to live with us recently upon the request of her maternal grandmother.  Yet she was abruptly "taken back" this past Saturday.Outline of pertinent facts

1.   Child was born in mass, paternity acknowledged on several occasions, father on birth certificate.

2.   Mother took child from state without fathers permission (to NY)

3.   Father retrieved mother and child, brought them back to Mass

4.   Mother again took the child back to NY without any warning.

5.   Mother started child support proceedings based on “knowledge of where father was, but not disclosing accurate birth certificate.

6.   Mother dropped child support suit in attempt to keep father out of childs life

7.   Maternal grandmother pursed legal custody of child.  (in Chautauqua county) Father not notified based on mother not supplying accurate birth certificate.  Mother willingly gave up custody, custody was granted to maternal grandmother. Maternal grandmother also had custody of the mothers other child (with another father) for some time.

8.   Child resided in Chautauqua county for a short time, and grandparents moved child to Erie county where she lived for at least 5 yrs. Child was raised by grandparents without much contact with the mother

9.   Father continued looking for child, grandparents continued to tell child they didn’t know where her father was.  Mother had contact information, but would not give it to grandparents.

10.   Mother regained custody of her other child and sent this other child to live with her own father (In Mass) permanently due to an inability to raise/care for her.

11.   Maternal grandmother contacted Father after nearly 8 years to have him in childs life.  Child met father, and family.  Talk immediately began between both parties to move child to the fathers home in Mass, by way of notarized letter in which grandmother transferred all rights. Grandparents stated clear inability to care for child.  Grandparents stated that they had no contact with the childs mother. Father and fathers family stated definite ability to care for child in more appropriate way. Numerous visits and constant contact between child and father and fathers family occurred during this time.

12.   Child was allowed to make decision as to where she lived, and the notarized letter transferring custody, was signed by all.

13.   Child moved to Mass with fathers family, accepted everyone in her large family, was accepted by all.  Made n many positive relationships, and made many positive improvements. Childs school work improved, as well as her health.  Child was extremely happy.

14.   Maternal grandmother attempted to take child from the home after 5 months.  Reasons unknown.  Child didn’t want to leave, grandmother allowed her to stay at that time and promised to leave her there permanently. Police refused to take child by force, based on notarized letter.  Police witnessed grandmother giving the child the choice, and also witnessed the grandmother promising the child that she would be allowed to stay permanently without such interference.

15.   Childs mother got involved with the promise to fathers family and to child that she would “help” the child stay where she was (with the father).  Visit was planned to confirm childs wishes, and to plan what legal action would be taken by all parties to formally arrange the custody agreement in court.

16.   Visit did not occur, as mother and grandmother showed up demanding that the child be released to them.  Child had to be forced to leave by father. Child was in Massachusetts from July 28, 2003 until January 17 2003.

Again, sorry for the long post.  I want to add: we are trying to find an attorney, but cannot afford the 5 to 10 thousand they want for retainer.  Yes, looking into legal aid, but we need to go to court in NY and their legal aid wont help us unless we have no income.  Mass legal aid will only help i domestic abuse/emergency cases.

Does anyone have any ideas?  We are looking for some advice on jurisdiction issues, as NONE of the courts want to hear this case. (Ma or EITHER county in NY)  ANY and all thoughtful advice would help.

As with all custody issues, I feel like everything is falling apart.  

Due to some harsh response I recieved in another forum, for being the step mother I want to add that YES I am the step mother, and YES my husband is the one who has to take control of this, but I have always accepted all of his kids as they were mine, and I am involved in this 100%, with him.   I love her, and have as much "stake" in this matter as he does.

We did not expect this battle, AT ALL, and its crummy what this kid is going thru.  


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