i have a 2.5 year old nephew i am looking for any info on how i can get some sort of legal right to him, be that guardianship, custody, etc. it really doesn't matter to me as long as it means that i have the ability to make decisions about his life legally and i can go to court for him later on down the line. basically i need my foot in the door for him. ok, so heres some info about us: we are in california. i am his paternal aunt. i live 2.5 hours from him, and i am a college student (read:no MONEY!! but i would probably have financial assistance from my mother to help if i did get some custody). he is 2.5 and showing developmental delays (ie: only says about 4 words, and not very clearly). his father is a drug addict who lives with the babys grandmother. the babys mom is a stripper trying to get her life together and is going to school. i don't want to take away anything from her, i simply want to prevent my nephew from being around my brother. my mother is an excellent caretaker for my nephew, but she lives with my brother and i think that in his condition he should not be left alone with him. i know that it would be easier for my mother (babys gramma) to get custody, but given that my brother lives with her, that would just be awarding my brother custody as well. i want to have some rights to him to make better decisions for his care. i think he needs to have his developmental delays addressed and also i want to be able to say no when my brother wants to see him and he is messed up on drugs. right now i don't have that ability and it is driving me crazy because i have no control. anyways, i have very little money and i may even lose family support over this, but it has to be done. i refuse to let my nephew grow up that way. the babys mother would probably be willing to allow me to have 50% custody with her, i don't forsee a major problem there. my brother has told me in the past that he would sign whatever to give me guardianship as well, but i think he was just bluffing assuming i would never try for it. i can see him being a problem. and he may get my mothers support to fight me. hopefully not, but that is one way i could see it going. i need some advice on how to proceed, what would be my best shot and also where i can go for free or very low cost attorneys. i am just a 26 yr old college student. i don't have that kind of money.What is the name of your state?