Friday, October 23, 2009


I’ve tended to blog about my feelings more than about specific issues. Today there is an issue I want to share with you – one of the many hassles and, dare I say it, prejudices that custodial grandparents have to deal with.
I sometimes travel overseas for business, and I have friends in three other countries. I’d like to take him with me, should a trip come up at a time he can be out of school. He also has a great grandfather who is Canadian, and will be buried in Canada when that time comes. Joe is approaching 90, and his health is failing. All of these things, along with a heartfelt desire to show him more of the world prompted me to apply for a passport (for Austin) some two months ago.
Today, the State Department sent a letter informing me that I must have a court order allowing me to travel with Austin. Now, my custody documents not only provide me with the ability to “make all decisions regarding the care and welfare” of the child, but they also impart important responsibilities. I am responsible for his medical care and all decisions, all financial obligations, etc. But I need to go back to the judge to take him on a Disney Cruise for vacation? (pardon me please, but WTF????)
I’m still in debt to my attorney for the custody. I get no child support, no assistance for his expenses. I have day care, cub scouts, soccer, school fees, clothes, furniture, and day to day activities, all of which are now my responsibility. The judge OBVIOUSLY thinks I am a responsible individual. I am a home owner (well, along with the mortgage co I am)… I have a job that I am unlikely to leave, not to mention a fricking private zoo…. And now I get to have another grand or more added to my legal debt. Because some jackass at the State Department thinks that having full custody of this child means everything OTHER than traveling with him. By the time I manage to get this sorted there will be no money for a damned cruise. And I am feeling a tad defeated.


  1. Go to the office of your local U.S. rep. If this is happening to you, it's happening to others. That is what they are there for. To fix crap like this. Make an appt and go get in their face.

  2. D... doesn't the State of Georgia have some king of assistance program for grandparents raising their grandchildren. If you have a case worker, I would check into this. I know Ohio has it. You may need to take foster/foster to adopt classes to qualify (like Ohio does), but at least you will be provided a monthly money/food/clothing stipend to help out. Austin may also qualify for Medicare.
    Check into your options.
    Also agree with Jayne on contacting your rep about a passport. That trully is a WTF mentality on the State Department's part.You don't need to pay a fricken lawyer anymore money to do this!

  3. I'm with Jayne and Kimberly. Before you spend anymore money on an attorney, contact your Rep and get them to go around the paper pusher in the State Department. It's their standard answer... don't take it.

  4. Great advice Ladies, I will absolutely reach out to my rep!

    Kim - apparently its a qualifying program, and it seems it is aimed at GP's on a fixed income. Apparently I make too much money.... But its another thing for me to present to the rep~

  5. Actually I have a quicker chaper way too:) Get a letter from his mom giving you permission to take him out of town. Ask yur attorney I think that would be all you need. It will get easier girl. I know how the courts can make you feel like a criminal just for doing your job. But the rules are there to keep people from stealing kids ( I know that doesn't apply to you but the courts don't) You will get your vacation and I will want to see pix:) I understand your frustration. It will all work out:)
    Love Tawnia

  6. Awwww. I'm so sorry to hear about that Dana. I hope everything gets worked out. Don't be discouraged. Keep fighting. I know it's a bit late, but maybe you need to hear that again now. =)