Can my Child’s Paternal Grandparent Gain Custody if I Decide to Leave my Child’s Father?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I live in Texas, have a 4 month baby, I am not married to his father but he did sign the birth certificate. We live together and he is very temperamental and he has hurt me in various occasions but he has told me that if we separate his father will fight me for custody of my child. Is it possible for a grandparent to get custody of my son. I know there is such thing when the parents are deceased but in my situation is it possible? Please help!!! I can’t live like this any longer I want to have peace of mind. I am a student not working about to finish my extern and my sons father does not work he cant hold a job and therefor his father provides him with money to pay bills and suport us. Although my mother has helped us out by buying our baby practically everything he needs and has. Can he really do this to me if i decide to provide for my son on my own?”I would not be as concerned with the grandfather getting custody as I would the grandfather fueling the father’s battle with high priced fancy attorneys. Grandparents can usually only wrestle custody from parents who are messed up or are messing up in such a way as to put the child at risk. Keep your nose clean and grandpa’s rights should only be derivative of father’s rights.

Question: There are resources available in most communities for victims of abuse. If you are not able to move out of teh abusive situation on your own or family resources, seek what hep may be available either through the government, church groups or other non-profit organizations. It may not be healthy to maintain an abusive household situation, even though you and your baby daddy are your child’s only parents.Be aware, though, that even if you “decide to provide for my son on my own” his father will always be a part of his life if he has the desire and ability to be a parent. A child is not a ball that you can unilaterally decide for all three of you that you are going to take home and make all the decisions. Generally, cooperative co-parenting is going to be best for your son’s long term best interests. Maturely addressing the issues related to timeshare (custody and visitation) and communicating and documenting your efforts are going to be generally better in the long run then buying into this adversarial paradigm that you are presenting.
In family law it’s almost never all or nothing.