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Docs needed, grandson to live w/ex step father????

NonieMarie

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May 30, 2012
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866
My 12 year old grandson and his 8 year old brother are with their father and his extended family in MS on summer break. The 8 year old is the biological son of my ex son-in-law. His step father is his father and has been since he was 3 years old. His biological father and his family severed all contact many years ago. My daughter has full physical and legal custody. My grandson has been diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's. He has already failed one grade and was not promoted this year but "placed" in the next grade. He is struggling in school and the longer this is left the better chance he will be tempted by bad decisions. He is a good kid but with very low self esteem.
My daughter lives in CA but the custody papers were drawn up in AZ.

My grandson's father and grandparents have agreed for him to live with them and go to school in MS. He would get one on one attention and help with school work. I've made arrangements for a tutor. He would be out of his new step father's house which would make me very happy. I was there a couple months ago and did not like how he was being treated. My son-in-law refuses to understand the special needs of a kid with ADHD and Asperger's. My daughter even had the DR talk to him but it did not sink in. The 8 year old has a different personality and does well in school. He seems to get along with the step father better.

The MS school wants custody or maybe guardianship papers for him to attend school there. He can start on Aug 8th but the paperwork needs to be submitted within a certain time. My daughter has a consultation with a family attorney on Mon. She will need to drive 2 hrs because she lives on a Marine Corp base out in the desert. The JAG office won't help because she is not in the military.

Does anyone know an easy way to handle this?
 

MollyMalone

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I know nothing about family law practice in California, Arizona, or Mississippi (and I'm confused as to who's who in Mississippi because your subject header speaks of living with an ex-stepfather, but the text of your post suggests the 12-year-old would be living with his natural father and the father's parents). But I would expect that even a temporary guardianship or custody arrangement requires a court proceeding and judicial order -- and that would be exceedingly unlikely to happen in any jurisdiction by August 8, especially since this is not an emergency situation that renders your daughter incapable of caring for her son.

Think the best thing for your daughter to do would be to
* speak to the MS school principal (or better yet imo, the attorney/counsel's office for the MS school district) and ask if they would accept a Power of Attorney whereby she would give certain specified, appropriate authorities to the father or grandparents (my own recommendation is that she should not name all 3 in the POA to minimize the legal wrangle if conflict were to arise amongst the 3 of them). That would be a lot easier, quicker, and cheaper than any kind of guardianship or custody proceeding -- and would not curtail any of her own parental rights.

* if the answer is Yes, ask if the school/school district has a sample POA form that would be acceptable to them. If they don't, then your daughter should have a MS family law attorney draw one up; I would not rely on a CA or AZ attorney to do that because a POA they draw up might not conform to MS law.

* if the answer is No, she needs to ask them exactly what would be acceptable to them.

* in any event, she should also ask the MS school contact if they have a medical authorization form they'd prefer her to send; the school may want that in addition to the POA & it would be good for the father/grandparents to have extra, signed forms for MS doctor, emergency room visits.

If you are willing to share with us what part of Mississippi the father and grandparents live in, I'll try to find contact info for
(1) a local MS bar association's referral panel, so she can have a telephone conference with a MS attorney who (hopefully) knows about such things and/or
(2) a MS "grandparents' rights" group in the region who might be willing-able to steer her to an appropriate lawyer.

P.S. Have all the financial considerations been hashed out; is everyone unquestionably on the same page about, e.g., who will be buying clothing during the school year, travel expenses between CA and MS, etc. etc.?
 

AnnaH

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Feb 12, 2013
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NM, i don't think a public school can refuse an education to a child, no matter the living arrangements.
Best wishes!
 

Gem Queen

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Mar 26, 2008
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502
Nonie, where are they in Ca. I work In family law in Orange County. Why couldn't she just go and enroll him in school and then just have you or the people take care of him? They wouldn't know. And besides that, she can Skype or do everything by Skype or phone and just say she travels for business a lot. As long as everybody is on board, I don't see a problem except maybe insurance.
 

Gem Queen

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Mar 26, 2008
Messages
502
Sorry. One more thing. If they have an open file, they can go in ex parte to submit the agreement. they can write up an agreement and file it with the court. It shouldn't be that big of a problem, especially if they both consent. This really is easy. They should have a self-help desk at the courthouse. I would start there actually.
 

MollyMalone

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Jun 2, 2013
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Gem Queen said:
Nonie, where are they in Ca. I work In family law in Orange County. Why couldn't she just go and enroll him in school and then just have you or the people take care of him? They wouldn't know. And besides that, she can Skype or do everything by Skype or phone and just say she travels for business a lot. As long as everybody is on board, I don't see a problem except maybe insurance.
The would-be new school is in Mississippi, not California where Nonie's daughter, her sons, and current husband reside.
AnnaH said:
NM, i don't think a public school can refuse an education to a child, no matter the living arrangements.
Best wishes!
Is there any state that does not require -- generally speaking (there are, e.g., exceptions for charter schools and for homeless kids who don't have an established residence) -- students to attend the school in the district and zone where their parent/legal guardian resides?
 

NonieMarie

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
866
MollyMalone|1468543619|4055580 said:
I know nothing about family law practice in California, Arizona, or Mississippi (and I'm confused as to who's who in Mississippi because your subject header speaks of living with an ex-stepfather, but the text of your post suggests the 12-year-old would be living with his natural father and the father's parents). But I would expect that even a temporary guardianship or custody arrangement requires a court proceeding and judicial order -- and that would be exceedingly unlikely to happen in any jurisdiction by August 8, especially since this is not an emergency situation that renders your daughter incapable of caring for her son.

Think the best thing for your daughter to do would be to
* speak to the MS school principal (or better yet imo, the attorney/counsel's office for the MS school district) and ask if they would accept a Power of Attorney whereby she would give certain specified, appropriate authorities to the father or grandparents (my own recommendation is that she should not name all 3 in the POA to minimize the legal wrangle if conflict were to arise amongst the 3 of them). That would be a lot easier, quicker, and cheaper than any kind of guardianship or custody proceeding -- and would not curtail any of her own parental rights.

* if the answer is Yes, ask if the school/school district has a sample POA form that would be acceptable to them. If they don't, then your daughter should have a MS family law attorney draw one up; I would not rely on a CA or AZ attorney to do that because a POA they draw up might not conform to MS law.

* if the answer is No, she needs to ask them exactly what would be acceptable to them.

* in any event, she should also ask the MS school contact if they have a medical authorization form they'd prefer her to send; the school may want that in addition to the POA & it would be good for the father/grandparents to have extra, signed forms for MS doctor, emergency room visits.

If you are willing to share with us what part of Mississippi the father and grandparents live in, I'll try to find contact info for
(1) a local MS bar association's referral panel, so she can have a telephone conference with a MS attorney who (hopefully) knows about such things and/or
(2) a MS "grandparents' rights" group in the region who might be willing-able to steer her to an appropriate lawyer.

P.S. Have all the financial considerations been hashed out; is everyone unquestionably on the same page about, e.g., who will be buying clothing during the school year, travel expenses between CA and MS, etc. etc.?
Sorry for the confusion...
The 12 year old is not biologically related to his step father or his family. His step father has raised him since he was 3 years old and although not biological, is his Dad. The custody papers for the 12 year old were ordered in AZ. They give full legal custody to my daughter. His biological father has not had contact in years. They have since moved to a Marine base in CA. His "step" Dad and family live in MS.
They live in the small town of Florence, outside of Jackson, MS.
 

NonieMarie

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Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
866
MollyMalone|1468555647|4055663 said:
Nonie, I managed to scrounge up what appears to be the Mississippi State Department of Education's current policy that sets forth the requirements concerning residency verification for public school students. Take a look at section II-c (STUDENTS LIVING WITH ADULTS OTHER THAN PARENTS OR LEGAL GUARDIANS):
http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/MBE/manual/policy-6600-residency-verification
Thank you! I sent that info to MS and suggested he go and file for guardianship. If he is able to do it, it will buy time to get everything else taken care of. They will be going on Mon to register him in school. For right now they just want his birth certificate. My ex son in law has that so we'll see what happens.
 

NonieMarie

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Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
866
MollyMalone, all the financial stuff is ok. I will pick up any slack. His medical and dental with the military will follow him to the new region. I don't know what will happen with that if guardianship changes.
My grandson called yesterday and said that he did not want to stay this year he would next year. He was not upset, very mature. I said that I felt it would be in his best interest to stay so he could have one on one help with school. Reminded him about his cousins that live down the road and all the fun they have living in the country. I also told him I would be out to visit before Thanksgiving. After discussing it a while, he said that if I thought it was a good idea then he would try it. I'm sure there will be tears, especially when his brother leaves in the middle of Aug.
 

NonieMarie

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Joined
May 30, 2012
Messages
866
My grandson is going to school in MS. All seems well, he seems to like it. The school really backtracked after they found out he needed special help. He has ADHD and Aspergers. My daughter contacted the bio dad, drove to AZ, and took him to get the necessary paperwork notarized. I paid an attorney, one of their family members had used for an adoption, to file court paperwork. His step dad is going to continue the process towards adoption.
 
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