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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12328
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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My daughter is pending a children and youth services investigation,

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My daughter is pending a children and youth services investigation, she is living in a one room motel (in PA) that has one bed with her boyfriend (who is addicted to drugs) and 10 yr old son (my grandson). My grandson has expressed interest in living with me full time however my daughter is against it, since I am moving out of state (to SC). My daughter has not had ANY consistency in the last 7 years. Moving from one motel to another, getting kicked out of apartments and so on. The longest she has lived anywhere was for a year she lived with my son in SC. I want to know what should be my next step in gaining custody from my daughter who has consistently proved that she is unfit to care for her son.

Brandon M. :

Hello there.

Brandon M. :

Thank you for your question. We're in "chat" mode for the moment. Please let me know when you can view this and are able to respond. Thanks.

Brandon M. :

It appears that you may not be available at the moment. Please allow me to post the answer to your question now. When you've had a chance to review, please feel free to let me know if you have any follow-up questions.

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, your question of how to gain custody of a minor who is not your own child is a common one when the parents are either unable or unwilling to provide for their child's needs. Are you familiar with minor guardianships? A court appointed guardian has the power to make legal decisions for the minor ward, such as where the ward is to be placed, where the child is to be enrolled in school, etc. A guardianship can be awarded when the child is in danger of abuse or neglect, and basically gives parental powers to someone who is not the minor's actual parent.

Brandon M. :

The process of a minor guardianship is started by filing a petition for guardianship of a minor child. Petition forms may be obtained from the probate division of the Court of Common Pleas (you can telephone ahead). You may also be able to find forms online such as through this website:

Brandon M. :

I do not endorse any specific website, but I offer that one as an example of a website that offers certain legal forms. If you go through the petition for guardianship of a minor child process on that particular website, I recommend opening the final product with the "windows word application" once you are completely finished.

Brandon M. :

Since you are not online to ask any specific questions, I would invite you to let me know if you have any follow-up questions once you have had a chance to review this answer. I will reply to any follow-up questions as soon as I become available again. If you are so inclined, please feel free to leave me a positive rating once you are completely finished (I work for ratings). Thanks.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So I should just petition for custody? I have full permission from the father but it is my daughter who is fighting it. I hate saying this but I am pretty sure the reason she doesn't want to lose custody is because then she knows she will lose the child support and food stamps that she is receiving.

A petition for guardianship of a minor child does not require consent of both parents. Naturally, it's easier if both parents are in agreement, but it's ultimately the court's decision. If the parents are either unable or unwilling to protect their child from danger or neglect (which includes having an active drug addict in the home), the court may grant a guardianship over the parent's objections.

The best option would be that the parents could clean up their act, but alternatively, someone else can petition for guardianship, or the state can get involved.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is there anything else I need to worry about with my husband and I moving out of state? His mother is in PA but my grandson has repeatedly said he does not want to stay here that he wants to come with us.

Hi again. It's probably not productive to speculate about what might be reason to worry because there's no end to the list of things that could hypothetically come to surface in a guardianship case. If the proposed guardian wants to move out of state, that is clearly less than ideal, but this is a less than ideal situation to begin with and the court will do what is best for the child.
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