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AH Law
AH Law, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 0
Experience:  I have a unique understanding of child welfare cases and other famiy law matters. I represented the government in child welfare cases for over 7 years.
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I am a family friend who has been actively in three childrens

Customer Question

I am a family friend who has been actively in three children's lives since they were born. Their mother is bi-polar and currently is on probation for a DUI and has Domestic Violence charges pending in Florida. CPS has removed her and the children from the home of her boyfriend. She wishes the children to come live with me until she can get her life on track. CPS is aware I am willing to take the children into my home. She has family who would not be able to take the children and one of the children has a biological father who would be willing to take his daughter. The 21 month old boy's father cannot take him as he is who the family has been removed from. What can I do in Nebraska to ensure the children come to live with me. Her court dates are 6 and 7 March 2013.

We are financially stable and we would provide them a two parent home. Additionally, their mother would be welcome to come start over close to us so we could monitor the home situation. She loves her children and when on her medication provides a positive role model for them.

Please help me help the family.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

The answer I am going to provide you with is likely not the one you are hoping on hearing so kindly do not blame the proverbial messenger. From Nebraska you stand a minimal chance of affecting this process for two very specific reasons. First, since Florida has direct personal jurisdiction over the children, they will very likely not cooperate with an outside state pursuing guardianship especially in a situation where the person seeking guardianship is not related to the children. Second, since you are not close by, the state will almost invariably favor someone more local because they consider most types of relocation to not be in the best interest of the children because it may be a traumatic experience.

That does not mean you cannot pursue it yourself--you would just need to do it out of Florida. Consider traveling there yourself or retaining counsel locally. Have that attorney file your petition for guardianship on temporary basis. It is also suggested that if at all possible to obtain releases from other parents showing consent, since that will make the process far easier. Be prepared to answer concerns about relocation since the courts may possibly consider denying your petition if they see no good cause for it.

Good luck.

Expert:  AH Law replied 2 years ago.
I have extensive experience with CPS and New Jersey. I would recommend you remain in close contact with CPS in Florida and kindly ask them to explain the process to you. An interstate study would normally be initiated to approve your home for placement of the children. This process takes at least a couple of months, and approval does not guarantee that the children will be moved. That depends on what other friends or family are available to care for the children in their home state. If you are the only viable candidate, approval would normally means the children would be transferred to your temporary legal custody, under the pending CPS litigation.

Keep in mind that CPS agency employees are generally overwhelmed and under-informed. Do not be shy about making contact with the case worker's supervisor, or even the manager of the office, to make sure everything is being done to have you approved as a home for these children. Maintaining contact and asking questions will help things move along, and will help the children get what they need.

I do not recommend hiring local counsel in FL, as you do not have standing in the CPS litigation. You should, however, speak with an attorney that represents the mother, to make sure he/she is clear on your involvement.

I hope you find this helpful. Feel free to respond with further questions.

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