Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear about your situation.
Are you and the other parent married? Would the other parent be willing to agree to let your daughter take custody of your son?
The problem is, if you wanted to give custody to a third party, you'd be required to notify the father (even if he's not on the birth certificate). The preference is for custody to go to a parent, what could happen is you might find the judge giving custody to the father in Alabama instead of to your sister in Arizona. You also run the risk that the judge will terminate your rights and give them to your sister, which isn't what you want at all. That's extremely difficult to undo. On top of that, the judge usually wouldn't even grant the request unless your son has already been living with your sister and she's been serving as his parent for at least a year. Which means that custody isn't the best way to get the outcome you're seeking.
You may have better luck with guardianship, where you can give your sister the temporary right to care for your child and make decisions about his upbringing.
You would still have to notify the father, and he'd have to agree not to contest it.
But the problem there is that, when you file for guardianship, you're saying you're not physically capable of caring for your child.
It's not the same as when parents have shared custody, because she's not a parent. Non-parents are treated differently. Your son could move in with her and you could sign forms giving her the right to make medical decisions for him, but if he's not staying over, then her house is not his legal residence. And you might be ordered to pay her child support.
The legal way to accomplish your ultimate goal here is to appeal the school's decision not to let your son go there, or move to a residence within the district for the next year.