Ask A Lawyer: Dealing With Grandparents Obstructing Custody

Question:

My children were taken away from my ex-wife by DFS for unsubstantiated abuse and neglect of my daughters. They are now in the custody of her grandparents as I was unable to financially provide for them at the time.

We have a court order regarding my visitation. The grandparents have continuously hindered my ability to see my children,  and when I went last weekend to pick my children up for their overnight visit with me I found that the grandparents were clandestinely giving my scheduled weekends to my ex-wife. what can I do.

Can I have an emergency hearing called or seek ex parte relief?

 

Answer:

If the grandparents are violating the court order, you should take them back to court to enforce your visitation.   Only a judge can modify an existing court order.  The grandparents cannot unilaterally change your court-ordered time with your children. 

It is unlikely that the court would grant ex parte relief as this does not give both parties an opportunity to be heard.  However, you may want to ask for a hearing as quickly as possible as you are losing precious time with your children.  It is important that the grandparents understand they are required to let you have time with your children.

 

Clarissa Finnell is an Associate Attorney in the Indianapolis office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and has been licensed in Indiana since 1997.  Read more about Clarissa Finnell.

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