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signing over parental rights to a family member

Discussion in 'Child Custody & Visitation' started by J_Lanford336, Jul 19, 2018.

  1. J_Lanford336

    J_Lanford336 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Long story short is that my nephew (brothers kid) is currently with a non family member due to his mother being unable to care for him. My brother is unable to take him as he has not been able to get on his feet yet from getting out of prison, and he wants me to take custody of his son, because his mother is unable to hold down a job, collects welfare and steals to get by, only couch hops from boyfriend to boyfriend (each week is a new boyfriend) she is in and out of legal trouble including being arrested and spending jail time.
    My brother is wanting to sign his parental rights to me, is there a way that is possible? so I have his half of the parental rights? does he have a say in who has custody even though they are not married and in different states? means they both have their parental rights?
    the woman who currently has temporary guardianship of my nephew isn't blood related, her nor her boyfriend has a job (she babysits to make some money which most of the time doesn't even cover their utility bills) there is her, her boyfriend, her kid and my nephew there; which she doesn't even have enough money to take care of her her boyfriend and her kid let alone adding another one to the mix. but she is collecting welfare on my nephew as well.
    We are wanting the best for my nephew and and out there is not the best option for him.

    Any ideas are helpful. I have already turned in a petition for guardianship with the local court system in Nevada where the minor is, but I travel back and forth from Colorado to do all of it and my brother is in Texas so its hard for all of us to constantly go back and forth to just turn in paperwork with no idea or ways to go about things. luckily this trip I was out there to turn it in, was already being made for other reasons. Need plans set up because it is a 12+ hour drive for either of us to do anything, can't do it just because and on a whim.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Parental rights can't be assigned, or passed along to relatives because of shared ancestry.

    If you wish to become an emergency custodian for the child, you should contact children's services in your state and express your willingness to foster the child.

    Usually attempting to do what you wish from another state happens rarely, if at all.

    You can also speak with lawyers in both states to see if litigation would be successful.

    It might be possible, but also EXPENSIVE.
     
    leslie82 likes this.
  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    For the sake of the child, report the situation to social services and let them help. They can figure out where the child should live and make sure there is plenty of food, medical care, etc.
     
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Given your statement that you have initiated a legal action to be appointed as the child's guardian, a lot of this is moot, but I already wrote it by the time I got to your statement at the end about the guardianship action.

    Lets start here.

    Were your brother and the child's mother ever married (you told us that they "are not married, but maybe they used ? If so, are they now divorced such that there is a divorce decree that gives one or the other of them primary physical custody of the child? If so, what does that order say? If they were never married, was your brother's paternity ever established? If so, how? If paternity was established, is there a custody order? If so, what does it say?

    Where I'm going with this is that, if your brother and the child's mother were never married, and if his paternity was never established, then, in the eyes of the law, he is not the child's father.

    Assuming your brother has any parental rights, the only circumstance in which they can be "signed over" to someone else is if he consents to the child being adopted by someone else. I assume that's not what you have in mind.

    If his parental rights were ever established, he should get notice of any proceedings concerning custody. Of course, if he lives in a different state, that could pose any number of complications.

    This woman actually has a court-ordered guardianship (if it wasn't court-ordered, then it isn't a guardianship)? If so, did your brother receive notice regarding the guardianship proceedings?

    You can file papers by mail, but the smart thing to do would be to hire an attorney in the area where the court is located.
     
  5. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    It isn't clear if your brother even has legal custody. Was he ever married to the mother? Is there a court order establishing legal custody and paternity? If not, your brother is a legal stranger to the child. If so, then he should have some say in who is caring for the child but he needs to get off his duff and petition the court for guardianship or custody. It is also not clear if a court has granted guardianship to this non-relative or if mom just handed him over to someone for what is essentially an extended sleep over.

    Poor isn't a crime. That alone does not render someone unfit to be a guardian. Neither does being being legally unmarried. Does she treat your nephew well? Provide love, support, guidance, stability, etc.? Is her home drug free? You've got a mother who isn't interested in mothering and a father who is absent and half a continent away. "Willing, able and present" may be the best option.
     
    leslie82 likes this.
  6. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    He can't just "sign over' his parental rights.

    Who has legal custody? The mother? The non family member? That's where you start. You can file for guardianship but that does not give you parental rights nor does it take away your brother's parental rights. You need to go talk to a lawyer or he does. If he relinquishes his parental rights he legally is no longer the father to his child. He would legally become a stranger. But judges do not just easily grant relinquishment of parental rights. Usually there is a stepparent adoption or if there's serious neglect or abuse the court can take away parental rights.

    You can file for guardianship but the mother will probably have a chance at her opinion on it in court. Or she can fight it.

    I suggest you and your brother at least find a lawyer who does free consultations to get some advice on this.
     

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