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Ask Bill Fix Your Own Question
Bill Fix
Bill Fix, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 81
Experience:  Attorney at Fix Law, PLLC
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My niece is 3 and her mother didn't have custody first 1.5

Customer Question

My niece is 3 and her mother didn't have custody for the first 1.5 years my parents had it temporarily because she was an addict and prostitute. Now that she is 3 she bounces from house to house. She is at my house tales st 3 nights a week and the rest of the week she is supposed to be with her dad, but she isn't because she is with either his mom or his sister in law because he is always busy and I just found out has been getting hooked on zanex again. All the while his father was being investigated for child molestation and his mom recently was too. But now my niece is at his moms house a lot but more at her other aunts. My sister has a man living with her that physically abuses her and does it in front of my niece. Recently he forgot to buckle her car seat so when he turned a corner her whole car seat fell over and when my sister got mad he started to punch her. 1.5 months ago my sister was supposed to pick my niece up and never showed. I got a call 2 hours after the time saying this man had punched her choked her out and stole her money. He has been in out of jail maybe 5 times in the last year. He sells drugs and she is back hooked on Vicodin and zanex. She recently lost her job as a dancer and now is a prostitute on a website called seeking arrangements. Com and that is how she is paying her bills. Ever since she got custody back of my niece she has had cps called on her 5 times and every time cheats the drug tests and she makes sure to tell my niece to lie and gets all the guys stuff out of her house for house visits. She is supposed to start preschool in the fall and she hasn't attempted to find one I have because it's 2 minutes down the street and I have her most the time anyways. I am worried for my niece to see that and go through that, and cps hasn't taken any of this seriously.
JA: OK. The Family Lawyer will need to help you with this. Because laws vary from state to state, could you tell me what state is this in?
Customer: Michigan
JA: Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: No I just found out about her being beaten in the car for my niece falling in the car seat today and don't want to give her back tomorrow because I'm worried but I feel stuck
JA: Is there anything else the Family Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: That it's not only me worried it's her dads sister in law who I picked her up from who told me the information because she doesn't know what to do but doesn't think she is in a good environment either.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Family Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Bill Fix replied 1 year ago.

This sounds like a bad situation all the way around. Any court in any state in this country ruling on cases like this will make a decision in the "best interests of the child". If both birth parents have issues with drugs and cannot provide a stable home environment for your niece, a judge would really have no choice other than to place the child in an alternative home...

Whether it is you or your parents, someone should consult with a child custody attorney in your area and file a petition for temporary emergency custody. (At least that's what it's called in TN where I live--the title may be slightly different in Michigan.) A petition like this would go through the reasons you stated as to why the child needs to be placed in someone else's custody temporarily for her own safety. This process is an expedited one, and if the mother, father, or father's family have no advanced warning, perhaps they won't be able to clear whatever out of their house before an appointee of the court inspects or be able to cheat a drug screen. Cases such as this that I have usually see a judge order more stringent drug screens, such as nail bed or hair follicle tests. So that may help as well. But this is the exact procedure I would recommend a potential client of mine in TN to follow under similar circumstances.

I hope things work out well for your niece.

Expert:  Bill Fix replied 1 year ago.

I hope the answer I provided was helpful. Were you able to consult with a local attorney? Or do you have other questions on this topic that I may assist you with? If so, please let me know. If not, please provide a positive rating that indicates I was helpful to you. Thank you.