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My wife and i have physical custody of her little cousin.

Customer Question
My wife and i...

My wife and i have physical custody of her little cousin. the mother is trying to take her back, i guess my question is: What can we do to keep this from happening?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any papers in family court?

Not as of yet, the mother just threatened to file for custody back. we are unsure of what steps to take. seeing as the mother has since placement with us lost her other 4 younger children

Lawyer's Assistant: Family law varies by state. What state are you in?

Pennsylvania

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I mean there are a lot of factors but i don't know what exactly is relevant

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: Family Law
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
3/30/2018
Family Lawyer: Sean K, Family Law Attorney replied 2 months ago
Sean K
Sean K, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 782
Experience: Family Law Attorney in Private Law Firm
Verified

Hi, I’m Sean and I will be assisting you as an expert today. I’m an attorney with more than 20 years of experience. It is my goal to provide a solid overview of your situation. Whether the analysis is good or bad as to your matter, I want to make sure you understand any points you need and that you have options to better address the questions you have. If I am able, I will also provide you with some resources. Please note that the system, independent from me, may offer a phone call. You are not obligated to engage in a phone call, but I am happy to speak if you desire. This is completely up to you.

From looking at your information, you state that you have custody - is this established via a Court Order granting you custody?

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
The custody papers say civil action custody.
Customer reply replied 2 months ago
The child in question was taken from mother by CYS, then placed in home of a different family member. However this family member could not handle the responsibility so this member and the mother signed physical custody over to my wife.
Family Lawyer: Sean K, Family Law Attorney replied 2 months ago

So if it is a Court ordered custody, she has an uphill battle. First, it is not unusual for people to threaten to seek custody. In the world of Family Law, that is a daily occurrence.

Now, the law is basically that a fit parent will near always be able to obtain custody of a biological child, this also means that unfit parents likely can't obtain custody. If the mother has lost 4 children, that speaks volumes about her fitness, or lack of fitness.

That all being said, her saying that she is going to "try to take her back," in and of itself means nothing; however, you can use it to help solidify your position.

First, follow the custody order exactly as it has been since you obtained custody.

Start keeping, if you are not already, a log of the interaction mom has, expenses, if any, that she contributes to and any other thing relevant to this process - threats she has made, bizarre behavior, if any, things of this nature.

As you point out that the mother signed over custody, this also helps your position, because if she agreed to it, it is harder to undo.

I would also see if there is more information you can find about about the mother just to have in the event she did file something.

For instance, what is her living arrangement, does she work, does she have any criminal record, things like this. Look back to why CYS took the child and see if that conditions still exists.

Bot***** *****ne is that if she wants to fill for custody, you cannot stop that, but what you can do is use the time to start to assemble a case as to why she should not be entitled to have custody.

Just because she wants custody doesn't mean she gets it.

Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. There is no specific course of action is proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege formed within this conversation.

If you have any follow up questions it would be my pleasure to answer them. As experts we only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate us positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! There is no cost associated with you rating me and you can still ask follow up questions after rating me and I will respond.

One final point, there may be a delay between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but rest assured, if you ask, I will provide an answer. Thank you again.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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