Buffalo, NY asked in Family Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Child Custody for Michigan

Q: My son was coaxed into signing away his rights to his son in Michigan. How can he get them back.

My grandson resides in Michigan with his mom. In 2020, he was taken from her. She and my son were given a list of requirements that had to be met in order for her to get him back. My son was told that if he signed away his rights it would get my grandson out of foster care sooner, so he did. Not to mention that they made it nearly impossible for him to meet the requirements (asking him to meet his requirements in Michigan- we live in NYS).

My grandson’s mother lives a lifestyle that’s not in his best interest and she calls to have us pick him up so that CPS won’t take him again. But when we get him to Buffalo, she’ll call and remind us that my son has no rights and threatens to tell police we kidnapped the baby, if we don’t return him to her immediately.

We are tired of the games she plays, and it’s taking a toll on all of us (her mother included). What can we do to put a stop to her antics because she has the court order showing she is the only parent and she uses it against us.

1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Appeals & Appellate Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: This is a highly complex situation. Reading between the lines based on Mom having the kids now, it sounds like CPS and the foster care workers believe your son has some significant culpability. Do you know if he signed a custody agreement or a voluntary termination of parental rights? Those are two completely different things, which will determine what next steps are possible.

If he signed a custody agreement leaving Mom with sole legal custody, then it is possible to get back into court and argue for a change of custody. If he voluntarily terminated his parental rights, I'm afraid to say he has not much recourse.

Best you can do to put a stop to these antics is to not answer the phone when she calls. If CPS comes to take the kid away, they will likely reach out to your son about next steps.

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