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Crazy dramatic, please read... What constitutes "Custodial Interference"

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There HAS to be a case here...
First off I will state that I am not the parent of the child involved here. I am the fiance' of her father. But I'd like to bounce this scenario off of whomever, I am interested in your opinions. (We live in Washington) The child is 10 years old and has lived her life with her mother and also grandmother as well from time to time (with the mother). There had been knowledge of what was believed to be recreational drug use by the mother, that seemed not to affect the child or her function as a parent. At the beginning of 2012 the mother disappeared on what was learned to be a drug bender for what turned out to be 3 months straight with no contact at all, initially leaving the child at the grandmother's home. We were made aware of the disappearance and took the child into our home and cared for her needs, emotionally, financially etc etc... She returned again to her mother and grandmother's home after about a month after the mother resurfaced and had entered a medical opiate replacement drug treatment program. Though she again disappeared in July 2012, at which point her father and I said enough was enough and decided there would be no more back and forth. The mother had without doubt, proven her inability to parent at that time. She remained with us, with short and sporadic visitations by the mother but under strict guidelines set out by us. Just before holiday break from school mother seemed to be doing well and was living with the grandmother, so we decided it would be alright for her to stay with them during the break from school because we figured it ought to be fine, and the child even still feels more that "there" is home given the fact of living the majority of her life with these persons. When school was to begin again in early January 2013 she was not returned to us, or taken to school. We went over to the grandmother's house to retrieve her and take her to school and were met with hostility by the grandmother, because she wasn't "happy" about going to the new school and told us it was a mistake and asked why we didn't "listen" to her. Tempers flared and my fiance and the grandmother ended up in a very loud and angry verbal altercation that ended with us leaving quickly and without successfully retrieving the child. Directly after, he called to apologize under my instruction because I felt that the outburst, as arguably deserved as it may have been, was still highly inappropriate. After that argument, contact ceased. They were angry and were not speaking to us. The entire time after this point the child was not taken to school... The absences mounting... Truancy officer getting involved. When the situation was explained to the officer, she (unofficially of course) told us we HAD to go down and file restraining orders against mom and grandma and file for emergency custody. (My fiance is not the "custodial" parent legally, merely the father). When we went before a commissioner regarding the filings of those items, she wouldn't hear him, and told him a parenting plan modification had to be filed first, that they must be served and have their opportunity to argue a case. So we did. But mother, without our knowledge had been arrested again, and we did not know it, and hadn't had time to have her served with the modification paperwork before grandma entered an ex parte non parental custody order(which can only be filed when the child is not in the 'physical' custody of either parent) and restraining order on mom and dad. We are currently in the courts fighting for legal custody of this child. She is claiming, falsely, that dad is abusive and there is no argument over mom's incompetency, even by her own admitting. Mom wishes the child to be with her father and is willing to sign over custody without contest. Given the grandmother's keeping the child from her father the months after holiday and then also from her father when the mother was incarcerated, is that grounds for filing action against her for custodial interference? Again, he was not recognized legally as the custodial, but does the custody default to the other parent? I believe that two and a half months warrants protracted time... Also grandma's adult son lives in the home, is an alcoholic and is routinely abusive to the child, calling her names and pushing her around and even hitting her in the gut. Grandma is 71, JUST had cancer, still smokes cigarettes, and works full time 4-midnight Wednesday through Sunday. During which time the child is "babysat" by a woman who uses meth and who knows what else. Mother said she had walked in to find this babysitter smoking meth on the back deck of the apartment while the child was home... Also withholding the child from school since January, ( she has since been enrolled in a new school after temporary custody was awarded) so I'd say January 7-March 8 out of school. Are these facts not enough to prove that she "Exposes the child to a substantial risk of illness or physical injury" Please someone help me right this wrong. I know my description of this scenario seems very cold and robotic, but I am unbelievably emotionally invested and devastated by what has happened and is continuing to happen. I want to call CPS, file interference charges... anything I can do!


  1. samoadc's Avatar
    Seems like a very bad place to get any answers. To me not a lawyer but just stating some of my ideas I would think you have an excellent situation to help your friend gain custody. He might be able to handle it himself with the help of Child Protective Services if you can prove most of what you write here yet I believe it would be best to get legal help if things seem to not be going your way+. In the meantime start gathering facts that can be proven in a court as that will greatly impress a judge. Hear say wilol not. Try to get copies of all arrest records of anyone intimately involved with the case. I believe at age 10 the girl may be the best witness if the is willing to tell about some of the things that have happened.Her ideas about what she would like to see happen will certainly carry some weight. Remember at all times the court's primary interest is in doing what is best for the child. Good luck and be sure and begin to document almost everything that is relative to your situation. Non biased eye witnesses, if available would help a lot. Don't be afraid to ask neighbors if they have heard or seen anything relavent to your problem. Certainly the teacher and school records may be of big help and any healthrecords from doctors or hospitals. Good Luck