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  1. #1
    meagan is offline Junior Member
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    Unhappy advice for getting guardianship of my nephew(CA)

    hi,

    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?
  2. #2
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by meagan View Post
    hi,

    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?
    Mom & Dad have custody of this child. If BOTH Mom & Dad lost custody of the child, then EITHER set of Grandparents would have standing for Custody/Guardianship. You are #5 down on the list for standing to attain Custody/Guardianship.

    Also, NEITHER parent will lose Custody unless the Grandparents wage an expensive Custody Battle against the parents & can PROVE that BOTH parents are legally 'unfit' to raise the child. I don't see that happening for a myriad of reasons.
  3. #3
    meagan is offline Junior Member
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    in his family, i would actually only be third on the list. also, the mother is willing to allow me to have a legal right to him. it is the father (my brother) who may argue it. what can i try for? would guardianship be easier? there has to be something i can do. i know that many people are cynical about the court system, but please, cynicism towards me is not helpful! please tell me where to start. who do i talk to about guardianship? i need some direction here. and as far as the parents being unfit, my brother is beyond unfit and the only reason that child is not taken from him yet is because of my mother being there and basically raising him. but it just can't continue. my mother wants to be his gramma and not his mother. she is also still in some denial over my brothers drug use and because of that, puts my nephew in bad situations being alone with my brother. i am hesitant to call CPS because i know that they are a pretty ineffective agency and i think it would just cause more problems than it would solve. i want to work with them to resolve this for his health and safety, but if i can't where do i go and who do i talk to???????
  4. #4
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by meagan View Post
    in his family, i would actually only be third on the list. also, the mother is willing to allow me to have a legal right to him. it is the father (my brother) who may argue it. what can i try for? would guardianship be easier? there has to be something i can do. i know that many people are cynical about the court system, but please, cynicism towards me is not helpful! please tell me where to start. who do i talk to about guardianship? i need some direction here. and as far as the parents being unfit, my brother is beyond unfit and the only reason that child is not taken from him yet is because of my mother being there and basically raising him. but it just can't continue. my mother wants to be his gramma and not his mother. she is also still in some denial over my brothers drug use and because of that, puts my nephew in bad situations being alone with my brother. i am hesitant to call CPS because i know that they are a pretty ineffective agency and i think it would just cause more problems than it would solve. i want to work with them to resolve this for his health and safety, but if i can't where do i go and who do i talk to???????
    You don't understand...the parents have legal Rights to the child. You do not. Even if Mom 'wanted' to sign guardianship to you, it would not happen unless Dad agreed also. Even THEN...both sets of grandparents would then have the chance for custody/guardianship (meaning your Mom who's in denial and/or Mom's parents).

    If that child is in danger, CPS is the solution. I'm sorry you think they are ineffective~ that hasn't been my experience at all...they have faults as all agencies do, but overall (at least here in CA) they are at least a resource for children.
  5. #5
    Zephyr is offline Senior Member
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    how about you just be a good auntie and maybe suggest to mom whatever resources you think might be helpful to address any delays the child might have.....sheesh


    you and mom are both in school, so how would kiddo living with you be better**************don't even bring up her being a stripper
  6. #6
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zephyr View Post
    how about you just be a good auntie and maybe suggest to mom whatever resources you think might be helpful to address any delays the child might have.....sheesh


    you and mom are both in school, so how would kiddo living with you be better**************don't even bring up her being a stripper
    It's so easy to judge parenting when you aren't yet a parent.
  7. #7
    meagan is offline Junior Member
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    wow, i can't even believe this! i have suggested to the mom to address his delays, and to my brother and to my mother, and NO ONE will do anything about it. they see that there is a problem and do nothing. also, i KNOW he would be better off with me. he may not live an extravagant life until i get out of school, but i wouldn't leave him alone in the house while i was out scoring drugs, i wouldn't let drug addicts baby sit him and leave him unsupervised in a backyard near a pool, and i wouldn't scream at him telling him he is stupid or brag to my friends about how i wanted to beat him! i have actually tried to get in contact with someone at CPS before when the babys mother skipped town for 3 weeks and no one could get ahold of her, i could never get anyone to answer the #%^&$ phone, so i gave up. the babys mother is also consistently behind on his immunizations and at one point, he was so skinny and sickly, the doctor nearly labeled him failure to thrive. it has nothing to do with the mother being a stripper, and i am not even trying to take anything from her, i want to be a co parent with her. i want him 50% of the time instead of my brother. my brother is a DRUG ADDICT. i may not be a parent, but i have taken care of my nephew since he was a baby and i can't even believe the way i am being judged here. i love him as if he were mine. and its really hard to watch him go through all of this. HE IS JUST A BABY. please HELP ME. tell me who to contact, tell me where to start. even if i lose, at least tell me where to go to lose. that is what i am asking for, not to be scoffed at because how could i understand the anguish of a child being mistreated when i don't have any of my own? HE IS MY CHILD. i may not have given birth to him, but i am his support system and i refuse to turn my back on him simply because a couple of cynical beings on here tell me i should give up. i am willing to quit school and move back if i need to. i grew up in a dysfunctional family and i do not want him to go through the same things i did. my mother does not want to be his guardian and his maternal gramma lives in washington. she has very little contact with him or his mother. all i am asking for is 50%. if my brother could be persuaded to consent to it, what can i do legally if i have both parents consent?? obviously, i have never done this before, so if you could please break it down to me how this all works i would appreciate. i UNDERSTAND that it will be difficult, and that i have a low priority, BUT PLEASE tell me how anyways. thank you.
  8. #8
    casa is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by meagan View Post
    wow, i can't even believe this! i have suggested to the mom to address his delays, and to my brother and to my mother, and NO ONE will do anything about it. they see that there is a problem and do nothing. also, i KNOW he would be better off with me. he may not live an extravagant life until i get out of school, but i wouldn't leave him alone in the house while i was out scoring drugs, i wouldn't let drug addicts baby sit him and leave him unsupervised in a backyard near a pool, and i wouldn't scream at him telling him he is stupid or brag to my friends about how i wanted to beat him! i have actually tried to get in contact with someone at CPS before when the babys mother skipped town for 3 weeks and no one could get ahold of her, i could never get anyone to answer the #%^&$ phone, so i gave up. the babys mother is also consistently behind on his immunizations and at one point, he was so skinny and sickly, the doctor nearly labeled him failure to thrive. it has nothing to do with the mother being a stripper, and i am not even trying to take anything from her, i want to be a co parent with her. i want him 50% of the time instead of my brother. my brother is a DRUG ADDICT. i may not be a parent, but i have taken care of my nephew since he was a baby and i can't even believe the way i am being judged here. i love him as if he were mine. and its really hard to watch him go through all of this. HE IS JUST A BABY. please HELP ME. tell me who to contact, tell me where to start. even if i lose, at least tell me where to go to lose. that is what i am asking for, not to be scoffed at because how could i understand the anguish of a child being mistreated when i don't have any of my own? HE IS MY CHILD. i may not have given birth to him, but i am his support system and i refuse to turn my back on him simply because a couple of cynical beings on here tell me i should give up. i am willing to quit school and move back if i need to. i grew up in a dysfunctional family and i do not want him to go through the same things i did. my mother does not want to be his guardian and his maternal gramma lives in washington. she has very little contact with him or his mother. all i am asking for is 50%. if my brother could be persuaded to consent to it, what can i do legally if i have both parents consent?? obviously, i have never done this before, so if you could please break it down to me how this all works i would appreciate. i UNDERSTAND that it will be difficult, and that i have a low priority, BUT PLEASE tell me how anyways. thank you.
    The only thing you can do if you are TRULY concerned about your nephew's health & welfare is to contact Social Services. If you get a sharp caseworker who can identify Paternal Grandma's enabling~ you could have a SLIM shot at guardianship. That's if NO ONE contests...and if NEITHER parent fights you.

    Sorry, that's the reality.
  9. #9
    meagan is offline Junior Member
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    thank you for a straightforward reply. can you tell me if the grandmother in washington would be able to contest even though she is in another state? my nephews mother has another child with a different father here in cali also, so if the grandmother in washington was awarded any sort of custody, would that mean my nephew would have to move to washington? his mother would have a very hard time leaving california since she has another child here.
  10. #10
    moburkes is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by meagan View Post
    thank you for a straightforward reply. can you tell me if the grandmother in washington would be able to contest even though she is in another state? my nephews mother has another child with a different father here in cali also, so if the grandmother in washington was awarded any sort of custody, would that mean my nephew would have to move to washington? his mother would have a very hard time leaving california since she has another child here.
    Yes, she would be able to do that if she choose to. Yes, he would move to WA.

    Yes, the very first place you should have called if you were AT ALL concerned would be CPS.
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  11. #11
    CJane is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by meagan View Post
    HE IS MY CHILD.
    This is possibly the creepiest thing I've read all day.

    Did you get the point when CASA said that IF NO ONE - that means NO ONE AT ALL - not a PARENT, not a GRANDPARENT... NO ONE contests the guardianship.

    You've already said that Dad will likely contest. You've already said it's possible that your OWN MOTHER might contest...

    You're scary and I'm going to hope you're NOT successful in your efforts to steal this child from his parents.
  12. #12
    meagan is offline Junior Member
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    wow, thats really mean, and yes i read the part where casa said its unlikely (i understand that it is unlikely and if they contest i am screwed I GET IT!!!!). i say hes mine because i love him like he is mine, and because i have taken care of him since he was 8 weeks old. you all keep acting like i am trying to steal him from his cleaver-like parents or something. his parents are seperated. they were never even married. they switch off having him. they don't even have a custody agreement. i am simply trying to keep him from his abusive and neglectful father. if my brother were to clean up his act, i would not even be contemplating this, but i have tried to get him to go to rehab and he won't go. he actually asked the psychiatrist for more drugs. do you get that? he was drug seeking at his pre-rehab interview! and then he decided not to go. i can't believe how awful what you just said was. i don't remember attacking anyones personal character here, so why are you attacking mine? for a bunch of forum moderators you sure are cynical and MEAN. do you flame everyone this way, or do you hold a special place of contempt for me? is it so unfathomable that a person should try and look out for thier family members best interest? if my mother took custody, that would be fine with me, i just don't want him to be hurt anymore, which means my brother needs to leave the house (if my brother didn't live there my nephew would do great with my mother and i would not be considering this...but you have yet again jumped to conclusions). i have tried to get him to move out, but of course he doesn't want the gravy train from my mom to end so he won't. did YOU read the part of the post where i said my nephew was failure to thrive in the hands of his "wonderful" parents? my brother SELLS DRUGS (and i am NOT talking pot here, people. he is a crystal METH addict) while he is caring for my nephew. our house has been raided by the police due to people he associated with. tell me, is this a situation you would want YOUR child to grow up in? i don't even know why i am bothering. i don't need to explain this to you. its not like you are willing to be helpful anyways. i don't understand your hang up. so WHAT if its not likely, what do you care, just advise me and leave your personal judgements aside. i guess your mother didn't teach you the lesson about doing to others what you would want done to you. or, if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all. damn.

    [/quote]You've already said that Dad will likely contest. You've already said it's possible that your OWN MOTHER might contest...

    You're scary and I'm going to hope you're NOT successful in your efforts to steal this child from his parents.[/quote]


    cjane: if you actually read my posts before jumping to conclusions you would have read multiple times that i am NOT (read: N O T ) trying to take anything from the mother. the mother and father are seperated and have been since baby was 4 months due to the father being high on drugs and physically abusive to baby's mom. furthermore the only reason the father would contest is because he is angry with me because i confronted him when i came over and found my nephew alone in the house (ie: my brother was gone at a friends house). he tried to attack me during our argument and i had to threaten him with the police to get him to back off. he was high on meth and knew i would tell the police.he barely speaks to me now. again, if you had read my posts you would have read that he actually offered to sign over guardianship to me, but once i began actually persuing this with him, asking him about more specifics, he backed off. that is why he would contest. my mother may contest simply because she is protective of my brother. she is codependant and clearly enabling his drug abuse. she still believes that he is a fit parent even though she has to miss work because he doesn't come home for days at a time or sleeps so heavily (read: coming off of a major drug binge) she cannot wake him to leave my nephew with him when she goes to work. she is in major DENIAL over the situation. but apparently YOU didn't read any of that. i am not a psycho baby snatcher. my brother doesn't even work. he got fired from his job for not passing his DRUG TEST. he has not worked in over two years. please tell me how this child is better off with him. please, please give me some reasons i would LOVE to hear them. no, really i mean it.
    Last edited by meagan; 08-06-2007 at 01:58 AM.
  13. #13
    Shay-Pari'e is offline Senior Member
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    Because there are laws. look them up.
  14. #14
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    You have no say so OP in who this child is better with. Your brother is daddy- DADDY'S rights are superior to that of a legal stranger -- meaning you. It doesn't matter what your opinion is. SCOTUS gives your brother superior rights. SCOTUS also states that his opinion with his child matters more than yours ever will. Shall I continue? You cannot do what you want to do. If you want a child, have one of your own or adopt a child that needs a home. Your nephew is not your child.
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.

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