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Should I try for custody?

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I recently (last 6 months) found out I have an 8 year old daughter. I am married now with a 10 month old baby girl. I have been paying child support since proof of a DNA test. I live in South Carolina and she lives in Georgia with her grandmother (who has legal custody). I try to go and visit her as often as I can but it is over three hours away to visit. I recently found out that the grandmother has to re-up on the custody every 2 years (which is coming up in July).
My wife and I have been discussing whether or not we should try for custody now or wait the 2 years for the next hearing. I know that I could provide a better living and education for her, as well as a more stable household. Right now the grandmother(60 years old) has custody of her (8), her older brother (9), and younger twin brothers (5). I am the only father that she receives support from and gets nothing but trouble from the paternal mother.
I don't have anything against the grandmother and don't think she has any ill feelings towards me. I just want to raise and make up for the past 8 years with my daughter. Both my wife and I love her dearly, as she does us. What sort of things will I encounter in trying to gain custody of her? Would it be better to wait a couple years and build on the relationship in the court's eyes? Or would they just look at who can provide for the child that being in the child's best interest? Any input would definitely be welcome.
Thank you,



Go For It!

Your daughter sounds as if she will have a wonderful father and step-mom. I live in Alabama, but I think it is true nationwide that the natural parent has a definite advantage with the court system. Grandparents can and do at least in AL get visitation rights if it is deemed in the best interest of the welfare of the child, but you are still a closer biological link and the Law places great respect in that. And given ythe fact that you didn't know about her until recently and have a loving home to offer, I wouldn't wait another minute. God Bless and Good Luck!



Senior Member
think i would have to go for it to.

there are a lot of pluses in your favor.

the fact that you have owned up to your responsibility and paying the child support.

that you have made the attempts to visit with her and to get to know her. (how did those go? is she comfortable with you? do you think she could adjust to living with you or would it be very upsetting to her?)

the fact that the mother hid the fact from you - released custody to the grandmother - you were not there to contest it and request custody yourself.

the age of the grandmother - i have seen some 60 year olds that are spunky and do cartwheels down the yard, how is she? is she physically able to care for those kids. i am 30 and just three kids - i couldn't image 60 and 4 kids. she has got to be stressed to the max. (with no help from the mom)

do you think that the grandmother would fight you on this? or would she see it as a good move for the child - being with her father and support it? i would think this would be your biggest obstacle.

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