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Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33207
Experience:  Attorney with 15 years experience
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My niece and nephew live with my parents and their mother who

Customer Question

My niece and nephew live with my parents and their mother who is a severe alcoholic. She is physically, verbally and emotionally abusive to all of them. However, I am interested in how my husband and I can obtain guardianship over my niece and nephew, ages 15.5 and 12.5.
Nikki Dunphy, M.Ed.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..If the mother is unfit to be in custody of the children and is neglecting, abusing, or not providing for their welfare, then your recourse is to file a formal guardianship petition in the local family court or probate court (whichever handles guardianship petitions in your area) and seek to have the mother's parental rights involuntarily terminated or at the very least restricted and monitored so she doesn't have any contact with the children when she is under the influence of alcohol/drugs..You will have to have substantive evidence that the children are being abused/neglected and that the mother is unfit in order for a judge to agree to issue an order that you are the legal guardian. So this is going to require you to get a local family law attorney involved so as to build the case with specific incidents of abuse/neglect and other examples of her behavior. The children are also old enough so as to be able to express a preference as to who they live with...A middle of the road approach is where the judge issues a temporary guardianship to you but doesn't formally terminate the mother's rights so you are essentially legally "babysitting" the children but she can still have contact with them under controlled conditions...thanksBarrister

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