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Trying to figure out how to get custody of our niece

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by Bigmama4, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Bigmama4

    Bigmama4 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Arizona
    Our niece has been living with us, for over a year now steady. She is my boyfriend, of almost 10 years, youngest brothers daughter. Both this sweet girls parents are completely strung out on heroin. She knows that this is home. Only consistant thing in her life since being born. She goes to school with my kids. Neither of her parents have called to check on her or come by to see her. Nieces father was recently arrested and is looking at facing a lot of time. We would hate to have to take her from the most stable home she has ever known and give her back to her junkie mother. We have no way of stopping her mom if she comes to get her. What rights do we have as her family and home that has been providing everything for her. How easy would it be to get guardianship. We would like to keep DFS out of this if possible. But is there any way to do that?
     
  2. KatDini

    KatDini Well-Known Member

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    You have no inherent rights to the girl. If you can get the parents to sign off on it, you might be able to file for guardianship. I'd suggest speaking to an attorney in your jurisdiction.
     
  3. Bigmama4

    Bigmama4 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thats what I was afraid of. Thank you. We just want whats best for her.
     
  4. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    You have no rights to the child as explained. "Boyfriend" is not a legal status. Your boyfriend has a better chance of getting approved as a guardian if child protective services does get involved. If neither parent has any interest in the child, he can request they name him the legal guardian. It does involve court but if the parents agree, it is a much easier matter. It is less likely a court would approve a guardianship to two unmarried people.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Active Member

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    I think what you're saying is that your boyfriend's niece (his brother's daughter and not your niece) has been living with you. Right?

    This child is not family to you, but it doesn't matter. Neither you nor your boyfriend have any rights regarding his brother's daughter.

    I'm not sure what a meaningful response to this question might be, so I'll say 7.

    Nothing in your post suggests any reason why DFS might get involved.

    If you and your boyfriend want to petition for a guardianship, consult with a local attorney.
     
  6. Bigmama4

    Bigmama4 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you everyone. This little girl has been living with us over a year steady and on and off since she was born. We just want what is best for her. I had no idea when I posted what rights we did or didnt have. We have been looking more into the matter. We have even went to the courts and got some much needed information.
     

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