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EduardoJ

How can I get custody of my nephew?

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I'm not really familiar with this board or where to ask my question so I apologize in advance if the question is misplaced. This situation is also very complicated.

 

My sister and her boyfriend both have several mental disorders. She's bipolar, suffers from depression and has DID and he's also bipolar and depressive. I recently found out that she has been cutting herself and that he has been having suicidal thoughts. They've been living together even though she has a restraining order against him, and we fear that calling the cops would only put my nephew in jeopardy. She's 24, her boyfriend is 25 and my nephew is 3. What chance do I as the uncle have in getting custody of my nephew, and what options do I have if any? Both my parents are fully involved as well. Can my sister voluntarily give me custody of my nephew?

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My guess is that your sister CAN let your nephew reside with you under your care and can probably give you written authorization for medical care and anything else.

 

However, while it would be legal for her to do that, the custody would not be authorized or sanctioned by the courts so there could be some serious disadvantages.

 

She could just take the child back at any time with no notice.

 

The father could object and then it wouldn't happen in the first place.

 

Bottom line here is if you think your nephew is in danger, call CPS to investigate. If CPS takes the child from the home, you can ask to foster him. No guarantees that you'll get him but there's a chance.

 

I'm guessing you are looking for an easy solution that doesn't involve the authorities or the courts but, trust me, there isn't an easy solution.

 

You need to put the kid's safety ahead of any personal desires you or your parents might have.

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we fear that calling the cops would only put my nephew in jeopardy.

 

First of all, I'm not really clear as to why you would call the police.  The police would not likely involve themselves unless there was some sort of imminent threat.  Second, why do you think calling the cops would "put [your] nephew in jeopardy"?

 

 

 

What chance do I as the uncle have in getting custody of my nephew, and what options do I have if any? Both my parents are fully involved as well. Can my sister voluntarily give me custody of my nephew?

 

No, your sister (either on her own or together with the child's father) cannot simply "give" you custody of her child.  Custody can only be conferred by a court order.  You have two primary options.  First, you can contact the local child protective services authority and try to persuade someone there that the child should be removed from his mother and father's custody.  If that happens, you could then seek to have the child placed with you pending the resolution of the resulting case against the chld's parents.  Second, you could file a petition seeking guardianship of the child.  Of course, these options are not mutually exclusive.

 

In order to increase the likelihood of succeeding, you should consult with a local attorney for advice.  This is not a good do-it-yourself project.

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adjusterjack is absolutely right. Call CPS and let them investigate. You can then ask to foster him. 

 

 

[Comments here are for informational/educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice/opinions or create client attorney relationship. ]

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