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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 11842
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My sister in law recently died in a car accident leaving my

Customer Question

My sister in law recently died in a car accident leaving my brother with his 6 year old stepdaught. The child has been living with her mother and step father (my brother) for the past two years. Now her alcoholic grandmother and heroin addict uncle wants custody of the six year old. There is no named father on her birth certificate, but there is a man in Alabama that at one time wanted a paternity test but it was never done. A restraining order was put against him on the day of the mothers death. currently my brother has position of the child the (maternal)grandmother is insistent that the child needs to be with her. what legal papers should my brother file in order to gain custody of my niece so as to not disrupt her life anymore than it already is? And if she is given over to the grandmother will that affect my brothers chances of getting custody?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  mkc1959 replied 2 years ago.

Your brother has the right to file a lawsuit to become the legal guardian of the girl. The statutes recognize that it is possible that the best interests of the child may very well be served by maintaining the stability of the relationship. Your brother has no legal obligation to give custody of the girl to any of the other relatives unless and until there is a court order. However I do believe it is very likely a court would keep the girl with your brother. He would be well advised to retain an attorney to help him file the lawsuit.