Can I keep my grandkids if I suspectdrug use in their household?

Over the weekend my daughter-in-law dropped off my grandkids (under the age of 4) to my mother-in-law whom uses a walker and never returned for them. My son is currently in jail for substance abuse. This seems to be recurrent with my son and my daughter-in-law. There was times when my son was in jail for a long period of time and my daughter-in-law will leave the kids for weeks at a time. She didn’t even call to see how they were. The children are still in my care. Can I keep them if I suspect drug use in front of them? What is the legal way to handle this situation?

Asked on October 31, 2011 under Family Law, New Mexico


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you need to do is to file an emergency petition in your local court for temporary custody of your grandchildren based upon the fact that you believe that there exists a dangerous situation and that they are being put at risk and that she has really abandoned them.  You need to seek help from an attorney as soon as you can.  You need to seek a restraining order against your daughter in law or ask that the court allow her supervised visitation only.  Courts determine the issues of custody "in the best interests of the child."  It is indeed in their best interest to be with you if the situation is as you suspect.  Good luck.

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