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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12573
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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I have a situation where a friend took her sisters kids in

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I have a situation where a friend took her sisters kids in they were taken away by CSB. She will be obtaining custody in a few months. None of the father's nor the mother are fit to care for the children andare drug users. When she has custody of her nephews if for any reason she became unable tocare for them can she then sign over custody to someone else? Or would the case be reopened?

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. I should start by saying that because the nuances of every situation are different, this information should not be construed as complete or advice without consulting in person with counsel. That said, it is never truly up to a custodian where a child should be placed in the event that the custodian becomes unable to offer adequate care for the child. Any change in custody has to be approved by the court. This is even true in cases where a parent voluntarily relinquishes custody of a child. In fact, even when a parent dies, the parent can only "nominate" who their minor's guardian will be. So under no circumstance can a caretaker or even a parent truly "sign over" custodial rights to someone else.

Brandon M. :

Nonetheless, a custodian's preferences may be considered by a court, and those preferences will be afforded the proper weight under the circumstances. So, for example, if an aunt has custody of her nieces or nephews placed with her by CSB and she becomes unable to care for them, the question of custody would go back to the court, but the court would generally permit the aunt to offer any relevant information needed for deciding the best alternative placement for the children.

Brandon M. :

Does that make sense?

Customer:

So if she isunable to continue to care for them andthe biological parents are unfit does the case get reopened?

Customer:

I didn't see the last part at first

Brandon M. :

Well, it would be misleading to say "reopened" because the cases technically never close. But the issue of placement would have to be reconsidered, much in the same way that the specific issue of placement was determined originally.

Brandon M. :

I understand. If you believe that you may not have been able to see something that was written, please let me know. Thanks.

Customer:

So if there are alternative placement and its not family how does that work would it matter?

Brandon M. :

Placement is determined based on the best interest of the child, but the courts prefer placement with family if that is feasible because that is typically what is best for the child. Naturally, just because someone is family, that doesn't automatically make them fit to care for a child, so it isn't automatic. Sometimes, there may be someone who is very close to a child who is not blood-related, and that person may also be considered as well. The fact that there is alternative placement available isn't relevant because the court is only interested in the child's needs, both physical and emotional, so it is going to vary from situation to situation. As I mentioned, the court will generally consider the wishes of the custodian simply because that person is usually in the best position to make a recommendation to the court.

Customer:

And generally they try to keep them together as well correct because in this case there are 3 children

Brandon M. :

Yes, absolutely. That is an extremely high priority in most cases.

Brandon M. :

The only normal circumstances where a court will allow siblings to be split up is when they are much older (late teens) and they want to live separately.

Customer:

So basically best idea obtain a lawyer & go to court

Brandon M. :

Well, I'm never going to tell someone to not get a lawyer involved in a custody matter, simply because the consequences are too important. But "yes", that is basically it.

Customer:

Right ugh this is so frustrating but thank you so much for your help!!!

Brandon M. :

Sorry..

Brandon M. :

I saw that you tried to rate. Do you mind trying again? I do apologize.

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