NEW CANAAN, CT (WFSB) -- As investigators continue to look for any signs of Jennifer Dulos, her mother is seeking custody of her five children.
On Wednesday, Ch. 3 sat down with a family court attorney to learn more about what is likely to happen in this case when it comes to the kids.
Since Jennifer Dulos went missing on May 24, her five children have been living with their grandmother, 85-year-old Gloria Farber, in New York City.
This past Monday, Farber filed a motion to be awarded custody, at least on a temporary basis, of the five children who range in age from 8 to 13.
Attorney Mike Budlong, who has been practicing family law for nearly 50 years, said grandparents in Connecticut and other states tend to have very limited rights to their grandkids.
“It used to be that grandparents could seek visitation with their grandchildren without having what we call a parent like relationship. Now they have to have a parent-like relationship as the basis to seek further contact,” Budlong said.
In the motion, Farber’s attorney asserts just that, stating she has been active with the children since they were born and they have regularly stayed at her New York City apartment.
With limited options in this case, Budlong feels she will likely get temporary custody of the children.
“They’ll place their children I’m sure with the grandmother, unless there’s another viable aunt or uncle and I don’t know the facts of the situation,” Budlong said.
In terms of permanent custody, he says things could get a bit trickier.
One factor is the grandmother’s age.
“On a long-term basis, at 85, are you going to be really chasing round little kids and get them to soccer practice, or this or that,” Budlong said.
While Jennifer’s estranged husband, and father to the children, Fotis Dulos has tried to get custody as recently as last week, the court has decided that, effective immediately, there will be no contact between him and the children until further notice, even if he posts bond.
“The kids become the victims. They are the absolute victims of this type of litigation and they may never recover, and they may never recover at all and it’s so sad,” Budlong said.
The children’s nanny for the past five years is currently living with them at Farber’s apartment and will continue to be their caregiver.
When asked if she could ever get custody, Budlong said no since she is a legal stranger to the family.