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I have guardianship of my 5 year old grandson. He is getting ready to start school. The school says that the mother or the father has every right to pick him up from school without me knowing. What is my legal right to prevent this from happening?

There are lots of different words people use when one person is caring for a grandchild. In these cases the legal relationship between each of the parties is very, very important.

In Arizona we have several different ways grandparents take care of their grandchildren. The rights and obligations of the mother, the father, the child and the grandparent are different based upon the type of legal relationship. You need to contact an attorney in your area to help you with this problem. However, let me give you some general rules.

For example, if your grandson is living with you and you have a written power of attorney document, your power lies with the paperwork. The father and mother can pick up the child at any time.

If you have gone to court and have gotten legal custody, or legal guardianship of the child, the legal papers will tell you the rights of the father and mother to pick up the child. In many states, even if the grandparent is the guardian, the parents can still have full legal rights.

Sometimes the only way to get the legal rights you need is with a legal adoption. If you adopt him, the parents will lose their parental rights and they cannot pick up the child without your consent. You control what happens to the child. Not the court. Not the parents.

I would strongly urge you to go see an attorney to legalize your relationship with this child so that you have the rights you want to have. You should not attempt this action without the services of a qualified family law attorney. The process takes 6-12 months.

There are many challenging stories about children who are removed from a caregivers home after many, many years of living happily with them. The only way to avoid these problems is to establish the legal relationship you want today.

This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The law may vary depending on the state in which you reside. It is intended only to give some direction in which to seek assistance.

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