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Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12554
Experience:  25 yrs. experience in family law, estates, real estate, business law, criminal defense, immigration, and employment law.
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My wife died this year leaving me to care for and support her

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My wife died this year leaving me to care for and support her daughter (from a previous marriage) and grandson (now one year old). Chelsea is a recovering drug addict who has relapsed recently. DSS put the baby into foster care and will not allow him to return home as long as Chelsea lives here and continues her drug use. As the only relative (other than his mother) who wants anything to do with the baby, can I ask for custody with the understanding that Chelsea must not live with us?

Hi, Jerry, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help in any way that I can,


Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your wife, you will be in my prayers,


I agree with you that infants at such a tender age need family, not foster care. I think that your idea is excellent. Go to the Office of the Court Clerk of the Family Court in the County in which you live. Ask the Court Clerk for the form they use for a "Petition for Custody" and fill it out. You will have to name the baby's mother, father (If you know who he is), and DSS as Defendants. Be sure that you state in the Petition that you are the only relative the baby has, aside from the mother, that you can provide a loving, secure, and stable home, etc. Family Court Judges in all 50 States decide thes cases on one principle, "What will be in the best interests of the child", so be sure that you use that phrase often in your Petition and at the end of your Petition in the Prayer for relief, state that the best interests and permanent welfare of the child can only be served by awarding you physical and legal custody.


The Court Clerk will give you (or should give you) a schedule of when certain things will happen, such as the Home study, psychological evaluation, if the Judge Orders one, etc.,


Best of Luck,



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