+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    rockette is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3

    Can you help me help my grandson?

    What is the name of your state? Pennsylvania / Delaware

    I live in Delaware County, PA, and in August, 2006 family court in Delaware County, PA awarded me and my husband joint custody of my grandson, who is 13 years old. We share custody with his mother, my ex-daughter-in-law, who currently lives in the state of Delaware, a little over an hour away. She is divorced from my son (the father), and has remarried. My son is not involved with the family or custody issues at all at this time.

    The custody terms are that my grandson live with me, and his mother has visitation rights for one weekend a month. Although the court terms were that we were to bring our grandson to her in Delaware and then pick him up (which, under other circumstances I would have no problem doing), up until now she has been coming here to PA and my grandson stays with her at his maternal grandmother_s house, which is also here in PA.

    This arrangement was working fine until after the last visit, when his mother stated that from now on she no longer wants to come up here to PA, and wants us to start bringing her son to DE. She, her husband and 2 sisters live with her mother-in-law, and that's where he'd be staying.

    I am writing for advice because my grandson is very upset. He is terrified of staying there, and is begging me to do something. He has good reason. We were awarded custody because there was evidence of physical, emotional and verbal abuse by his step-father, and he is terrified of being beaten again. He still wants to see his mother, but here at his other grandmother_s home as has been the case all along.

    I would call the lawyer, but unfortunately the legal fees for the custody battle depleted what we had saved, and we simply don_t have the resources at this moment to pay for more lawyers. But I need to help my grandson.

    Would anyone have any advice, suggestions or information on what our rights, and especially my grandson_s rights, are, especially since he_s still a minor at 13? Are there dhild advocates or resources for legal help out there that can represent him and his wishes? Or any other avenues that we could look into?

    Also, would anyone know if this would be under PA or DE jurisdiction, if we were to contact people who could help? At this point, I_m assuming it would still be PA.

    Please understand that as you can well imagine, although I am also concerned with my grandson staying there because of his safety, these are his wishes, and representation for him that I am trying to find help for.

    Any information you can offer would be greatly appreciated by our family. Thank you.
  2. #2
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    South Cackalacky
    Posts
    15,365
    Your rights are to follow the court agreement, or be found in contempt of court.
  3. #3
    Halls is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    598
    Sorry, you must abide by the court order. You can always file a modification but I think a judge will see that you didn't have a problem with letting your grandson stay with mom when she came in town and it will appear you just don't want to make the drive. You were lucky not to make the drive all this time, but the court order is the court order and you must abide by it.
  4. #4
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    South Cackalacky
    Posts
    15,365
    Also, if there was a problem, why wasn't it addressed when the court order was written?
  5. #5
    tigger22472 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Monticello, In
    Posts
    6,742
    In August when the order was made was mom living with step-father then also? I am going to assume yes. If that is/was the case the time to argue this was in August. You state the order states you are to take and pick up the child from the mother's which would indicate that all along she was given the right to have visitation in her home. You could ATTEMPT to modify the order but it's unlikely seeing that the same circumstance that appeared in Aug. is still the case.
  6. #6
    tigger22472 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Monticello, In
    Posts
    6,742
    Quote Originally Posted by moburkes View Post
    Also, if there was a problem, why wasn't it addressed when the court order was written?
    Jinx!!
  7. #7
    rockette is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3
    Why did the court give us custody and then allow visitation when the step-father was in the home (and yes, to answer that question, he was there)? Why do the courts make a lot of the illogical decisions they make? Reading through some of this forum, illogical and unfair decisions are everyday occurrences.

    At the time the decision was handed down, it was the mother who said that since she had to come here to PA on a regular basis anyway, she preferred having him stay with her at her own mother's. Since my grandson was okay with that, and we had exhausted our resources financially, we really had no choice but to go with it and hope it lasted a while until we could recoup. It didn't work out that way.

    Why didn't our lawyers make sure they fought for this too? Who knows, and I wish they would have, but yes, we called them and they want thousands more for this battle. We just don't have it; there has not been enough time for us to get back on our feet. We are between a rock and a hard place.

    And yes, we tried talking to the mother, but she now insists.

    Those questions having been answered ...

    This is NOT an issue of whether or not I want to drive him there. I would drive him to Timbuktu and back, if that's what he needed. If I wasn't prepared to take the responsibility of doing what I had to do to raise him, I wouldn't have fought for custody in the first place. This is in no way about me.

    THIS IS ABOUT MY GRANDSON'S SAFETY.

    Not only his wishes, but his safety. The courts seem to treat children like commodities, and I hoped to find a different outlook here.

    When he was in their home, the stepfather beat him to the point the school nurse at the time had him sent to the emergency room. That is why we fought for custody. Again, trying to understand some of these court decisions would take a super human.

    Even if my decision was to follow the court order, my grandson is not only terrified of going to stay there, he is refusing to. He is a strapping 13 year old. What am I supposed to do, catch him while he's sleeping, tie him up to the car and drag him down there?

    Would any of you phsycially force your child into a room with someone who will most likely beat the *#?! out of them? I doubt it, and all I'm trying to find out are ways I might protect him, or get help protecting him, that are appropriate and legal.

    I asked if anyone had information on child advocates or representatives who could represent my grandson and help keep him safe. Even someone like that being involved, which would cause the step-father to realize he was being scrutinized and then less likely to become abusive, would help. Or someone who can advocate for his rights, wishes and needs here. Just someone who can help protect him officially. Hey,. I'd drive him back and forth to DE 3 times a day to see an advocate if it woud help.

    I am NOT writing to find out whether or not I have to drive my grandson down to his mother's home.

    I AM writing to ask advice on keeping my grandson safe. Isn't that what custody really should be about?

    If you can't help, thank you for your time and responses so far. But I would still be interested in your advice, and information on resources you may know of. All the leads I've had so far have not handled custody issues.
  8. #8
    rockette is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3
    One additional question ....

    What are a 13-year-old's rights in a custody situation? From the research I've done it seems that in some states a child of that age would have some rights of choice that a younger child (4-7 perhaps) might not have.

    Can he make any decisions himself and/or perhaps apply for representation?
  9. #9
    rmet4nzkx is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    17,787
    It may be possible to get a modificaiton both PA and DL allow children some say.
    Courts will determine what is in the best interest of the child and can be revisited upon any change of circumstances. Children under the age of 12 have little choice in custody matters but this choice is given more weight as the child gets older. In addition to full custody, Pennsylvania courts will grant partial custody which means the child can visit with the other parent overnight.
  10. #10
    ceara19 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,059
    Quote Originally Posted by rockette View Post
    One additional question ....

    What are a 13-year-old's rights in a custody situation? From the research I've done it seems that in some states a child of that age would have some rights of choice that a younger child (4-7 perhaps) might not have.

    Can he make any decisions himself and/or perhaps apply for representation?
    Regardless of whether or not the child's opinion on CUSTODY would be taken into consideration, this is a VISITATION issue.
  11. #11
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    64,290
    The bottom line is that there is a court order in place that says that you have to deliver the child to mom one weekend a month, in DE......and apparently the court did not restrict the stepfather from being present during the visitation.

    You are going to have to explain to your grandchild that he doesn't have any choice. That he has to go or the court might reconsider allowing him to live with you. What you CAN do however, is have a heart to heart with mom about the child's fears, and make it clear to mom that if she doesn't make sure that the stepfather leaves the child alone, that she risks permanently losing the child's trust.

    You can also empower the child to get help if the stepfather doesn't leave him alone.

Similar Threads

  1. grandson
    By odis64 in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 10-20-2010, 07:18 PM
  2. my grandson and his ex. ...
    By mysteryunicorn in forum Sentencing / Parole / Pardons / Plea Bargains
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-22-2008, 03:10 PM
  3. My grandson
    By janiejuly in forum Child Support
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-10-2006, 09:40 PM
  4. Want to see my grandson
    By NEET in forum Grandparentís Rights
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-25-2005, 12:37 AM
  5. i want to keep my grandson
    By christiansmom in forum Marriage, Domestic Partnerships and Other Family Law Matters
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-03-2003, 08:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.