‘I had my son at 16 and moved out of my mother’s home and in with my sister when my son turned 1. My mom agreed to keep my son until I finished high school so I wrote a note saying she could have temporary custody so she could keep her 2 bedroom for Section 8. Now I am 22 years old and on my third child. I have my own place and a job. I have been trying to get my son back but she won’t let me. Can I just take him from her? I have been in his life every step of the way. He knows me as ‘Mom.’ We have joint custody. If I take him from
her, can she charge me with kidnapping?’
This case will turn on the substance of your custody agreement. The court will take an informal custody arrangement into consideration, but it is not bound to follow that agreement. It sounds like your agreement is not a court order. The best case scenario for your child would be for you and your mother to work out a visitation and custody agreement out of court. Otherwise, you can assert your parental rights by petitioning the court and contacting a family law attorney in your area who can guide you through the process of asserting your rights.