Q: My child's mother gave custody to her mother when I went to jail for a month. Shouldn't I have custody now that I'm out
A: You have priority over the grandmother for custody. However, if they will not give the child to you, you will need to file a petition with Family Court.
A: If custody was transferred via a court order, you may be able to petition for a modification of custody. It is unclear from your question whether your custody rights were ever terminated or whether mom had sole legal custody and your rights were never affected. There are certain criteria that need to be met before you can file for modification so your best bet would be to meet with an attorney and discuss your particular circumstances. It is entirely possible that you could have at the very least the right to parenting time depending upon what the order says.
A: There are a lot of unanswered questions in regard to your post. First are you the father by marriage or court order or by signing an acknowledgement of paternity? It none apply, then under the law you are not the father. If you are the father under the law, then the next question is how was custody transferred to the Grandmother? Was it done by a letter written by the mother or just a transfer of the child or was it done by court order. If it was by court order, then you were required to be served with the papers and if you weren't then that is a problem. You need to speak to an attorney and go over all of the details.
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