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QUESTION: How can I regain custody of my kids?
“Sorry for the long post. 2 years ago, I told my mother that she and I should seek counseling with her pastor at her church before she would see my kids again due to arguing and stuff in front of my kids. She has never been a mother to me and even has told me that everyone would be better off without me several times. I gave her a chance to be a grandma, and I regret it more than ever. When I told her we should get counseling, she filed for visitation. Grandparents don’t have many rights in my state.
After mediation, she was awarded visitation as long as she and I attended family counseling together. That was November 16th, 2020. She never called or texted my kids for holidays or birthdays. Then last month, I was told that she could see my children cause she has been going to counseling. (As part of our agreement, the courts were supposed to pick where we went to counseling.) I was never informed where that was or anything. Fast forward to Friday; my mother removed my children from school with three police officers because she was granted temporary guardianship.
We have NEVER notified of a court date or anything like that. She also said I was in contempt of the visitation order cause I changed my phone number due to getting a new phone. She has my husband’s number and hasn’t tried once to contact him. She knows where we live and hasn’t tried to come here once. My kids haven’t seen her in 1 1/2 years. My youngest somehow thought she would take him from us. She won by default (cause we weren’t aware we had court). Recently, hubby and I got into trouble. (No judgment please.)
We had decided to give temporary guardianship to my in-laws while we got back on our feet and stuff. My in-laws are my neighbors, so my kids have a great relationship with them; they could stay in the same school, we would continue our relationship with them, etc. A lawyer told me that because of how we basically ignored the court’s visitation order that no judge would trust our opinion on who would be better to place our kids with and wouldn’t take the case.
My mother won’t let us see our babies, talk to them, or anything. I don’t know what to do. I’m heartbroken, and it’s getting worse by the minute. Any advice on what I could do to get my kids out of her home and back here where they belong?”
The following top answers have been selected by a moderator from hundreds of responses to the original question.
“I would file with court and tell them everything.”
“She must have filed for an emergency change of custody in which the judge saw it was evident and granted it. Now there should be an expedited hearing that follows after in which you have to be served. Once you are served you need to file your rebuttal for her accusations. Get a family lawyer you may need it.”
“There is something big missing from this story.. I’ve never heard of anyone granting guardianship or custody like that for missed visitation with grandparents. Especially since she has no actual proof that she tried to contact you and you ignored it…”
“Typically if you are served with custody court papers they are certified mail that you or your husband would have had to sign for. Get yourselves a lawyer and get to the bottom of this. And a family therapist, not a church type therapist.”
“I had a dcfs case years ago, due to drugs use and going to prison. All I can say is that you need to do everything they tell you to do. There is definitely some of this story missing, cause no one can just take your kids for no reason. You need to contact whatever agency has appointed them to your mom and gave her custody, dcfs, cps, whatever is in your state. They’ll give you a placement plan. Follow it. And you’ll get your kids back before you know it. I didn’t follow mine, ultimately I lost custody of my children. This was 9 years ago. I just recently got in contact with there adoptive mom and was able to have communication. Good luck.”
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