Shelley, ID asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Idaho

Q: What are my rights as a parent if grandparents were granted De Facto Custodian

Grandparents were granted De Facto Custodian. Court papers state mine and fathers (my ex) visitation to be determined in custody. We never had a custody agreement or court date. This was back in 2017. Since then my daughter has been staying with me conistantly for 3 months and wants to live with me and go to school from my residence. My parents (De Facto Custodians) say NO. Custody was never handled and I am not sure where I stand as a Parent and what steps I should take to resolve this.

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1 Lawyer Answer

Kevin M Rogers

Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Boise, ID
  • Licensed in Idaho

A: The word "defacto" means something which exists in reality, whether authorized by law or not. Your parents therefore have some rights to guardianship at least to their granddaughter. They obviously do not have "legal custody," which can only be obtained by going to court or bestowed by birth to parents. So, the question comes to mind, why were your parents given the temporary custody of your daughter originally? If it was because you were temporarily unable to care for your daughter then they will have a reasonable argument that their grandparental rights should be superior to your parental rights. However, should you decide to tell the grandparents that you're going to keep their granddaughter will probably result in the grandparents filing a motion for grandparent rights of custody. The best thing you could do would be to file a motion for custody of your daughter. Look in court records to see if there is ANY KIND of an order of custody. Use that number to file under and copies will go to the persons that need to receive copies. Don't take any kind of unilateral action to take custody of your daughter but ask your parents if they feel like you are responsible enough that you could take custody of her. Since they have been wiling to spend their retirement years taking care of your child, you should thank them and ask them if they feel you are sufficiently mature to keep custody of your daughter.

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