Legal Question in Family Law in Missouri

Child custody of a minor to Grandparents

I have had my grandaughter living in my house now for 6 months, because her Mother was not able to take care of her or her sister. Her little sister has lived in Texas with another of my daughters for four months. The mother lives off and on with her boyfriend. They were both using drugs very heavily. Now all of sudden she wants to come and get my grandaughter because I made her mad about not wanting her exposed to this boyfriend she lives with. He is on parole and is the one that got my daughter back on drugs. She has told someone she is going to pick up ''M'' at school and not tell me. Can I stop her from taking her and do I have a right to seek custody of her?

Asked on 4/12/04, 11:43 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael R. Nack Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law

Re: Child custody of a minor to Grandparents

You have a very unfortunate situation which does not have any easy solution in our legal system. It may be possible for you to obtain a temporary order of Protection under the Child Protection Act. You may also be able to establish a guardianship for the child and have yourself named as guardian. Finally, although most attorneys would advise you to try and avoid the Division of Family Services if at all possible, you may also consider the option of "hotlining" the mother and getting the division involved. They will investigate your allegations and they may take the child into custody pending the proceedings. Usually this results in the placement of the child in foster care, but you would certainly stand a good chance of having the child placed with you either from the beginning or in the end. This process has definite risks, and all of your options have some costs involved. Still, if you sincerly want to protect this child, you should take some action immeddiately. If you are in the Eastern part of the state, and you are not already represented by legal counsel, you may call me for a free telephone consultation at 314-727-2822. No matter what you do, I wish you and the child the very best of luck in all things.

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Answered on 4/12/04, 9:31 pm

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