Legal Question in Family Law in California

My daughter and her boyfriend of 6 years just separated. They have a 4 year old daughter. My daughter has moved in with me. The father of the child has legal custody, due to some issues with my daughter's sobriety (agreed upon by both of them) years ago. She is also bi-polar and has some issues dealing with this. Right before the breakup she entered a psych facility for a few days due to drinking (she had quit altogether for acouple of years, but had some relapses recently)and was taking Ambien - together these made her feel suicidal so she went for treatment. Since that time, the father of the child is completely controlling the visitations with his daughter. We have nothing in writing that I am aware of that talks about visitation. My daughter has had these sorts of problems ever since her daughter was born, so this is nothing new, and she was doing 90% of the caretaking. He wasn't withholding her from being with his daughter then (when things were much worse), but now that she has left him he is angry (not to mention he now knows she is seeing another guy, which gives him another reason not to allow her to visit). We had talked about my daughter having supervised visits at my house and that seemed ok with him until he found out about the new guy, so all bets are off he says. Can he legally do this? She is not an incompetent mother. Not drinking, not on drugs. I dont' see a problem with supervised visits while she is currently getting treatment. But it is devastating to her daughter to not have a fulltime mom anymore. What do we do?

Asked on 5/01/12, 12:25 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Gary R. White Burton & White

Hire an attorney to review the facts and give your daughter specific legal advice.

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Answered on 5/01/12, 4:02 pm

Arlene Kock Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock APLC

Your daughter needs court orders defining custody and visitation. If this is a non marital situation,she should file a paternity petition with a motion to establish custody, visitation, and if appropriate, child support.

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Answered on 5/01/12, 6:41 pm

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