In this case, you may
have legal standing to file custody for her, but you face an uphill battle. Aside from proving that this would be "in the best interest of the child
," you would also have to show that you have standing to pursue custody in the first place.
According to Stalder v. Stone, 107 N.E.2d 696 (Ill. 1952)
and In re J.K.F., 529 N.E.2d 92 (Ill. App. 1988)
, any conduct which evinces a settled purpose to forego all parental duties and relinquish all parental claims to the child is enough for a non-parent to file for custody. This is what you would have to show here - that the mother is simply not taking care of the daughter and in fact, has virtually abandoned her.
You would begin by filing a motion for custody within the already-ongoing suit, under the same cause number. Counsel is highly recommended.
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