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Christian, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 17
Experience:  CA licensed attorney since 1995. Practice limited to family law.
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My husband and I want to get the legal custody of my 13 ...

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My husband and I want to get the legal custody of my 13 year old great nephew. The child is very accustomed to us and this is his wish. His mother is also in aggreement with this due to her economic status. However, because she has other children she is afraid of loosing the welfare benefits. We want to have the legal custody to be able to make decisions about his education, health and travel.

Hello Betty,

You need to contact an attorney or represent yourself and do a guardianship of the child. If his mother consents, it should not be a difficult process. You do not state anything in your question about the father, but it is likely he will need to consent as well, or you will have to make efforts to find and notify him.

If his mother won't consent due to the welfare issue, you can attempt to continue without her consent or work something out with her.


Good luck!

Christian and 5 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Christian's Post: what is the difference between legal guardianship and legal custody?

Hi Betty,

In most states "guardianship" is essentially equivalent to "custody"; the custodian/guardian makes decisions about and for the child, is responsible for the child, can authorize medical treatment, etc etc. Sometimes guardianship is given to a non-relative whereas custody is given to a biological parent.

Although there are some minor differences, "guardianship" generally means the same thing as custody: a package which includes all the rights, duties and responsibilities of a parent.

There are minor exceptions and variations here and there- in some states "custody" may not include authority over the child's estate (i.e. their property) whereas unqualified "guardianship" does. This kind of thing can vary depending upon the state the child resides in.

Hope this helps!

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