ldsullivan's picture

Transition of custody

I am the grandmother of a 3 year old boy. My 22 year old daughter moved in with my husband and I when my grandson was born. My daughter has developed anger problems, and there was a domestic violence situation where she assualted me with my grandson sitting in my lap. CPS got involved and placed the child with us, since our home is the only home he has known. My daughter has not been consistent in her visitation while CPS has been invovled for three months, seeing him only twice during this time and calling him only three times.

The father of the baby has not been involved in the child's life to this point. My husband and I filed for custody of our grandson, and the father stepped in and now wants custody. We have been advised that we have no chance of getting custody when the father wants custody.

My daughter is very angry with us and does not want us to have custody so she agreed for the father to have custody of the child. The court has ordered a 30-45 day transition of the child from us to the father.

I am concerned for my grandson's mental well-being due to his father not being involved in his life until now. I don't think that 30-45 days is enough time for him to establish a relationship with him, but I want to cooperate in the best interest of my grandson. The father is willing for us to be a part of his life and has agreed to us having grandparent visitation, two overnights a week and one weekend a month.

I would like advice on how to help my grandson make a healthy relationship with his father and a smooth transition to his home. I like his father and have no problems with him. It just seems too fast. He has spent one weekend at his father's house and then the very next weekend had an extended stay of five days.

He has just come back to us and seems very out of control in his behavior. I fear this all is so confusing for him.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I would greatly appreciate any input, as I love this child more than life itself and want him to be happy.


acitez's picture

The attitude you have, that you want to cooperate in your grandson's best interest, is really important.

You will have to develop extraordinary discretion. Unless the child is in imminent danger, you will have to let the parents have control.

Work with the social worker and others to encourage the parents to take trainings so that they can gain good parenting skills. Volunteer to take the classes yourself, so you can show that you are invested in using the skills and information they teach.

I think, once the transition is made, that you will need to move into a normal grandparent role. I never spent overnights with my grandparents. Until I was about 8, I saw them often, at least once a week, but always in the company of other family members. After that I would go visit them by myself, but just for an afternoon, or to help with yardwork on a Saturday. They lived within walking distance.

Your comment on this being fast. It needs to happen pretty quickly. The longer it goes on, the more painful it is.

acitez's picture

It bugs me when the courts let biology triumph over maintaining a secure pre-existing attachment.

SnglDad's picture

We only know one side of the story. Parental rights should always trump a third party. A pre-existing attachment, is no substitute for a relationship with a bio parent.