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Can The Parent With Legal Custody Send The Children To Live With Grandparents?

Thursday, 12 July 2012 00:00

grandparents rightsQuestion:

My ex-wife has legal custody and physical custody of our children and I have scheduled visitation. Due to long-term neglect on her behalf, I am filing to modify child custody. 

However, her parents have been talking to my kids about living with them permanently instead of their mom.

Can my wife, since she currently has legal custody, let my kids live with their grandparents without my permission?

Answer:

I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Maryland divorce and child custody laws where I am licensed to practice.

The simple answer is no, but it would be up to you to bring the situation to the court's attention. The mother cannot legally seek to change custody from her to her parents without your consent or absent a court finding both of you unfit to have custody.

She can certainly allow the children to visit with their grandparents. However, should she just start sending the kids over to her parents house and leaving them there for long periods of time, you should file for custody and bring this to the court's attention. 

The general rule is that the court cannot grant a third party (someone other than you or your ex-wife) custody of the children unless the court finds both of you to be unfit. Then and only then can custody be granted to a third party. 

Read Related Article:
Grandparents Rights

So if your ex-wife were to petition the court asking that the kids be placed in her parents custody, and you were to petition the court stating that you wanted custody, the court could not give the grandparents custody so long as you are fit and willing to take custody.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.

Cordell & Cordell has men's divorce lawyers located nationwide. To schedule an appointment with a divorce attorney, including Maryland Divorce Lawyer Kristine J. Rea, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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