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Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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hello i am a soldier in iraq my mother just recently found

Customer Question

hello i am a soldier in iraq my mother just recently found cancer for the 2nd time in her breast's. my question is would i be able to take custody of my younger brother and sister that are 16 and 14. my mother is out of work on disability while she is waiting to begin chemotherapy. would i have to be physically present in court if it was possible? and any other insight would help a lot.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

So sorry to hear of your difficult situation.

I am a lawyer with 25 years experience. While I am not your lawyer and do not represent you, I will endeavor to provide you with legal information through this open and nonconfidential forum.

Is the children's father living?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes but he has not spoken, attempted to speak or paid child support in the past 6 years.
Expert:  Ellen replied 6 years ago.

Unfortunately as the children's father, he has the first right to custody if your mother is no longer living. One possible solution would be to petition the court for third-party custody of your siblings now with your mother's consent. This would make it much more likely that you would retain custody in the event that your mother is unable to parent.

Here is how it works.

The law presumes that it is in the best interest of a child for that child to be with a parent rather than with a guardian or third-party custodian-- even if that 3rd party is a sibling or other relative.This presumption may be rebutted by the totality of the evidence presented. If the court finds that the presumption in favor of the parent has been rebutted, you will also need to demonstrate a strong emotional bond with the child, in addition to an ability to provide for the child emotionally and physically.

I suggest that you retain local legal counsel to petition the court on your behalf

Good luck

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