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Child custody of adult special needs

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by Anthony purich, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. Anthony purich

    Anthony purich Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My sister has a 20 year old with Down syndrome. Dad lied and has emergency custody until her hearing. I mentioned talking to an attorney and filing for legal guardianship. She said she doesn’t have money for an attorney and that she was going to get him his own disability lawyer. I think she is wrong but maybe I am?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Wrong about what?
     
  3. Anthony purich

    Anthony purich Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Her friend has her convinced that she doesn’t need to talk to a lawyer and that she only needs to get him an attorney to represent himself. He has Down syndrome and will be 21 soon. My brother in law hasn’t let her see him for the past two weeks and they are still a week away from their hearing.

    In doing some research, I think she should file for legal guardianship and in my opinion, at least talk to an attorney.

    As of now, she isn’t going to do either. Dad has put some bad things in the emergency filing paperwork such as my sister taking her son to bars and the casino while she gambles.

    The truth is, they went to the casino for a concert and a friends bar for a benefit. There were some other things that were stupid but my nephew is the coolest kid and I would hate for the situation to continue.

    I didn’t know if other people have hired a disability attorney in this scenario and if that even made sense.

    Thank you for reading and posting a question.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    The fact that a 20 year old person lives with Down Syndrome doesn't mean he is mentally incompetent.

    If the person is an adult son, the father or mother could petition the court for adult guardianship, but would have to prove the adult is unable to care for himself because he is mentally or physically incapacitated.

    If the father has an emergency custody order, the mother can appear at the next hearing and attempt to present the case why she should be awarded custody, or that the child isn't mentally or physically incapacitated.

    The court won't just award guardianship because the father wants it.

    The father has to convince the court why the 20 year old person is unable to care for himself.
     
    leslie82 likes this.
  5. Anthony purich

    Anthony purich Law Topic Starter New Member

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    He filed for sole custody and has an attorney. I thought filing for legal guardianship was separate from child custody. My nephew certainly couldn’t live on his own and has some speech concerns. He is capable of making some decisions but not many.

    My nephew is also a mess right now as he has spent most of his time with mom.

    My thinking was that she would do well to get legal advice and possibly file for legal guardianship.
     
    Red Kayak likes this.
  6. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    MY thinking is that you shouldn't force your will upon these people.
     
  7. Anthony purich

    Anthony purich Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Your comment doesn’t even make sense. My sister is going to do what she wants to. She is a mess herself since she hasn’t been able to be with her son for two weeks now.

    She isn’t sure what she should really do. I am simply trying to help her have the best information to make an informed decision. She says that she doesn’t have money for an attorney. I told her that I would help her but she doesn’t feel that she needs legal advice.

    If she is right about that, she will show up at the hearing with my other sister and father.
     
  8. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Your sister would be well advised to retain an attorney. That is the best way "to help her have the best information to make an informed decision." Whether it would be appropriate for an attorney to be appointed to represent your nephew's interests isn't apparent from your posts. Nor do I understand your statement that your sister can't afford a lawyer for herself but apparently can afford to hire a lawyer for her son.

    If there's a hearing in a week, there's nothing else that could get done any sooner.
     
  9. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    All you can do is offer to pay for an attorney for your sister. If her husband has an attorney, her chances of accomplishing her goal without her own attorney is minimal.
     
  10. Anthony purich

    Anthony purich Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I am going to offer again to pay for an attorney for her. Thank you for the input.
     
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