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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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I just gained guardianship of my two cousins from Alabama. I

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I just gained guardianship of my two cousins from Alabama. I have legal papers noterized (sp). I have them back here in Kansas. I am wanting to know how to go about keeping them for at least a year because their mother is not stable.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No, because the mother willing signed the guardianship papers for me to bring them back here and care for them.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, she is expecting to take them back at christmas. I am wanting to know what to get in to order before that comes so I can keep them if she wants to take me to court.
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in?
Customer: I am living in Kansas

Good evening. I understand that the mother is expected to take the kids back at Christmas. Do the guardianship letters (the court order for guardianship) have an expiration date?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The Seal is for 2019

When the guardianship was granted by the court, was there any discussion at that time about the mother taking the kids back at Christmas?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
This was not in court. I had the papers printed and notorized in Alabama

Ok, so that I understand, this guardianship has never gone through or been approved by any court, is that correct?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I had papers printed stating I was allowed to take the girls from Alabama to Kansas. I had a paper printed stating I would gain guardianship of the two girls as well. I also had medical release forms printed.

Ok, so when you said that "the seal is for 2019", were you referring to the Notary seal?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thanks. Being as precise as possible, for how long have the kids been in Kansas? I don't need an exact date, but a range of dates would be helpful.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I just got them back here Sunday. I have already enrolled them in to school.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was wondering since they have been in Ks. state custody in the past if that would hold up in court? Also the oldest hasn't been in school all year either, and the six year old had missed a few weeks up to when I went and got them.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am in the process of getting State Medical cards for them as well because they both need glasses and they don't have them.

A guardianship can only be created by court order, so if nothing has been filed by or approved by a court, what you have technically isn't a guardianship -- it's just permission from the mother. I have a few more questions:

​1. With this notarized written permission, does it mention for how long the children will continue to live with you?
2. Where is the father in all of this?
​3. I understand that the kids have been in Kansas for less than a week. For how long were they in Alabama prior to coming to Kansas?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok on the first ?. Their fathers are not in the picture. Have signed rights over. Third ?, They have lived in Alabama for almost 4 years
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The papers don't mention a date stating how long

Ok, so here's the situation... a child can't be kept from his/her parent's custody without an order from the court--so to have the powers of a guardian, including custodial powers, over the objection of a parent, one needs to go to court and get a guardianship from the court. There's generally no alternative option -- someone can't keep another person's children over their objection unless the court approves. I say "generally" because there are some rare, very temporary exceptions--for example, if "mom" shows up completely intoxicated and wants to drive off with the children.

​If mom is unstable in a way that she can't ensure the children's safety but she still wants to provide care for the kids, that's exactly the sort of situation that guardianships are designed to address. You would need to either get an attorney to help, or to contact the court and request that they direct you to required forms or legal assistance. I wish that there was an easy route for you to take, but I have to be straightforward.

​Let me know if further clarification is needed, and please feel free to leave a rating once you are finished (it does not cost anything extra to do so and it is the only way I may be credited for my answers.) Thank you!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Ok, you have answered the ?'s I needed answered. Thank you for your time.

It was my pleasure. Was I able to do so to your satisfaction?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
it's just going to be a battle. The oldest has been to 14 different schools and she is 15, they've already been in state custody before and are never in a stable enviornment. Even though they have lived in Alabama for almost four years, she hasn't kept a job more than a few months.

I understand. Going to court is never easy, particularly when family is involved, but do what you need to do to protect the kids.

Brandon M. and 4 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I am going to try my hardest. They deserve better than what they have been dealt.