Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Alaska

Q: My granddaughters was dropped off at my house by her mother. She refuses to help. Where do I stand legally.

The mother didnt show up to custody hearing on her younger child and father was granted custody. When he came to pick up the other child from mother mother was combative amd resulted in her arrest. Now she is threatening to come and take the older child(11) from my home. Mother is unemployed, has no place to live, and child is in school while with me. Where do I stand legally? Can she come and take her.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stefan Otterson
Stefan Otterson
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Licensed in Alaska

A: If the mother is pressing her rights, you will have difficulty opposing her unless you get a court order granting you custody. In the mean time, you can enlist the help of the father, who presumably got custody at the hearing you referenced. He could give you a power of attorney for the older child if he got custody of both. Be sure to get a copy of his custody order along with the power of attorney. However, a power of attorney from one parent won't always stand up when the other parent is asking for the child. Still, if the mother is obviously unfit, the power of attorney might slow the police down, or at least prompt them to have the father intervene rather than give the child to the mother. Bottom line is that nothing's solid unless you obtain a court custody order placing the child with you. As a non-parent you'll have to show that the child would be harmed if left with the mother, and that the father supports you as the caregiver for the older child.

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