What to do if I need to get temporary custody of my grandchildren since they are already living with me and their mother has ran off?

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What to do if I need to get temporary custody of my grandchildren since they are already living with me and their mother has ran off?

Their father is in jail for the second time since the oldest was born. Neither parent has been able to keep a job and both are addicts. I love all three of them so much and just want what is best for them.

Asked on January 4, 2013 under Family Law, Indiana

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to file a custody suit for all three children and ask the court to appoint you as the main conservator of the children.  You would have standing because you are a grandparent and the children have essentially been abandoned with you.  A custody suit begins with the filing of a petition and having both parents served with notice of the suit.  After the petition is filed, you can ask the court to grant you temporary custody while the suit is pending and you are trying to get the parents served.  (If mom can't be found, there are alternative methods of service other than person service) 

Considering that mom has run off and dad is in jail, this is actually a good time for you to file.  Many grandparents think that since the parents are out of the picture that they don't have any reason to worry.... and then one parent comes back into the picture or gets out of jail... and the grandparent panics because they do not want to see the child leave with an unfit parent.  While you have standing and a good basis for filing is the time to initiate a custody suit.  Try to find a family law attorney or legal services group that assists with family law issues to help you get  the ball rolling. 


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