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Grandparents seeking guardianship from non custodial parent

Started by RecoveryMom, Feb 21, 2014, 10:18:54 PM

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I am in a world of confusion and do not know what to do.

Four years ago, my ex husband was granted sole physical and legal custody of our daughter. He was given this because I was a crystal methamphetamine addict.

I was granted no visitation.

I went to rehab, where I stayed for 15 months. While I was in treatment, I petitioned the court for a step up plan, and the courts allowed me to have weekly phone calls with my daughter at 5 minutes each.

When I left rehab, I moved into the low income, transitional living apartments that the rehab center owns, for single women and their children. I also have a four year old son from another relationship. Six months after I moved in, I petitioned the courts again for visitation. I was granted an increase in conversation time to 12 minutes from five and was granted INFREQUENT visitation by the judge, who allowed me to see my daughter once every three months for an hour and a half. That is six hours per year. I had already been clean for a year and a half. The judge's ruling was that because I lived in an apartment that randomly drug tested their residents, I was only staying clean because I was in a controlled environment and if given the chance, I would use again.

I had to stay here because I owed my ex husband 8200 in back child support and it was important to me to make financial amends to him and my daughter. I would not be able to afford a bigger monthly rent expense. I took advantage of the low income apartments that I am in. The child support is paid off.

I have not petitioned the courts for more visitation because I still live here and the crux of the argument is that I need to be out of a controlled environment. I am moving on March 14th.

Last week, my ex husband, who has kept me away from my daughter for years, and who is also an alcoholic, was arrested for attempted murder, corporal injury to a spouse, terrorist threats and battery on a police officer. He was drunk and waved a gun in front of his girlfriend, and my child. She is now at her grandparents and he is in jail. They are filing for legal guardianship.

My ex has kept me from her for years and I knew of his alcoholism but could never point a finger, as there were 20 pointing back at me. I have been clean for three years, work for the local County and am finishing my BA degree in Social Work.

I do not want his parents to get guardianship. They are enablers of their son and will only seek to keep me from my daughter even more. Do I have any chance at winning the fight for custody, as I am a non custodial parent who has been given infrequent visitation? This is injustice and I need some help.

Please, any advice is greatly appreciated.


There's no harm in asking and showing the court how you've made progress and your plans.  That's at least getting it documented.

Maybe the court will give temp to the grandparents -- and even primary ultimately, but normal time or 50/50 time.

Drugs scare me....too.....I'll say that up front.

I'm no expert to know if being clean for 3 years is "good enough" .....but I also hear what you're saying here and have accomplished.

So....my advice is to keep asking for more time every six months to show you're serious, progressing in positive way, and keep after a relationship with your daughter.