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Steven  K.
Steven K., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 2332
Experience:  I have practiced family law since 1996, focusing on child custody and domestic violence
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Hi we have taken in a lot of kids thru the years but never

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Hi we have taken in a lot of kids thru the years but never had a kid come to us and ask if she can come live with us. She is 16 and har mom signed an agreement with some friends for her to live there with them. We are not sure what to say. We dont feel she is in danger, but there are some questionable things that go on in that house. We never want to turn a child down in need of help but we are unsure if we can legally help her.
Thank you for allowing me to assist you.

Have you spoken to the mom to find out what is going on? There may be an existing court order with regard to this child if the people she is staying with are preventing her from talking to her mother. Another option is to check the courts and see if there is a court case regarding this child. If not, the parent can cancel her agreement at any time if she wants to.

If there is no existing court case and the mother won't transfer her agreement to you, you could petition the courts for custody of the child, but that is not an easy process. You would have to show by clear and convincing evidence that one of the following factors exist:

 

(i) the parent has abandoned, neglected, or otherwise exhibited disregard for the child's well-being to the extent that the child will be harmed by living with the parent;

(ii) placement of the child with the individual takes priority over preserving the day-to-day parent-child relationship because of the presence of physical or emotional danger to the child, or both; or

(iii) other extraordinary circumstances;

The “interested third party” must also prove by a preponderance of the evidence that it is in the best interests of the child to be in the custody of the interested third party.

There are no standard forms for third party custody so you would probably have to hire a lawyer to get this accomplished.


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