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  1. #1
    Accountable is offline Member
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    Possible guardianship of unrelated minor

    What is the name of your state? TX

    I'm addressing those of you who are either familiar with guardianship laws in Texas or can at least give me an educated guess. I've already had dessert, so I don't need any sweetner...but OG & Bay, I would value your opinions! LOL

    I have referenced in other threads that one of my daughter's childhood friends was orphaned a couple of years ago following a murder-suicide. She is now in her third home since her parents' death. We have only seen her twice (each for a week) since her parents death. The court originally placed her in her maternal GM's physical custody with maternal uncle having conservatorship over the children's trust. She has an older brother who has been living with baseball coach since the grandmother's death. The GM died last year and physical custody went to the maternal uncle. We learned today that she is now living with her paternal GP and his wife, although the maternal uncle still holds legal custody. He told me that she is now out of control and he could not allow her to stay in his home since he has 5 young daughters. He "institutionalized" her briefly before sending her away due to her suicidal thoughts. She was also in counseling and on anti-depressants. She is only 15 years old.

    Her father was suicidal and an alcoholic that ultimately killed her mother before finally taking his own life. His family has a history of suicide, alcoholism and other mental issues, including the GP who is in his 70s and now has possession of the girl.

    My instinct is to reach out to help this child, but I'm still considering the possible ramnifications to my family. She and my daughter were very close before the incident, but have not kept in great regular touch since then. The uncle knows that the girl is not in a good place but doesn't want her in his home. His last resort will be to ship her off to boarding school or surrender her to the state. If he agrees to allow her to live with us....at least for one school semester as a trial...and the paternal grandparents do not object, would I need anything other than just a power of attorney for medical treatment and school enrollment? I would prefer that the uncle retain all legal custody rights.

    Her uncle and I have had a lengthy discussion and agree that, in her present circumstance, she is well on her way to following in her father's footsteps.

    Opinions, please.
    Last edited by Accountable; 12-31-2007 at 04:48 PM.
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    What is the name of your state? TX

    I'm addressing those of you who are either familiar with guardianship laws in Texas or can at least give me an educated guess. I've already had dessert, so I don't need any sweetner...but OG & Bay, I would value your opinions! LOL

    I have referenced in other threads that one of my daughter's childhood friends was orphaned a couple of years ago following a murder-suicide. She is now in her third home since her parents' death. We have only seen her twice (each for a week) since her parents death. The court originally placed her in her maternal GM's physical custody with maternal uncle having conservatorship over the children's trust. The GM died last year and physical custody went to the maternal uncle. We learned today that she is now living with her paternal GP and his wife, although the maternal uncle still holds legal custody. He told me that she is now out of control and he could not allow her to stay in his home since he has 5 young daughters. He "institutionalized" her briefly before sending her away due to her suicidal thoughts. She was also in counseling and on anti-depressants. She is only 15 years old.

    Her father was suicidal and an alcoholic that ultimately killed her mother before finally taking his own life. His family has a history of suicide, alcoholism and other mental issues, including the GP who is in his 70s and now has possession of the girl.

    My instinct is to reach out to help this child, but I'm still considering the possible ramnifications to my family. She and my daughter were very close before the incident, but have not kept in great regular touch since then. The uncle knows that the girl is not in a good place but doesn't want her in his home. His last resort will be to ship her off to boarding school or surrender her to the state. If he agrees to allow her to live with us....at least for one school semester as a trial...and the paternal grandparents do not object, would I need anything other than just a power of attorney for medical treatment and school enrollment? I would prefer that the uncle retain all legal custody rights.

    Her uncle and I have had a lengthy discussion and agree that, in her present circumstance, she is well on her way to following her father's footsteps.

    Opinions, please.
    The Uncle certainly has the right to allow her to reside with you. One issue would be whether or not she can be enrolled in your school system if you do not have legal custody.
  3. #3
    Accountable is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    The Uncle certainly has the right to allow her to reside with you. One issue would be whether or not she can be enrolled in your school system if you do not have legal custody.
    Oh...I didn't think of that. However, with each move, she has changed school districts. She is currently enrolled in the local high school where the grandfather lives, and he does not have custody, but I do not know how they got around that.
  4. #4
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Accountable View Post
    Oh...I didn't think of that. However, with each move, she has changed school districts. She is currently enrolled in the local high school where the grandfather lives, and he does not have custody, but I do not know how they got around that.
    You can be granted guardianship by the uncle. Guardianship is NORMALLY considered temporary and would address the issues -- at least Ohio would. Sorry have not checked Texas laws but they SHOULD have something comparable. A power of attorney would also aid the issue as long as she is residing in the school district where she is to attend. An open enrollment issue would be problematic.
    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.
  5. #5
    peppier is offline Member
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    Not legal but give this some real thought. Some kids like this are really just looking for a place where they feel secure and loved but others really are a problem and will cause problems all around. I would start with a 2 to 6 week trial, keep it between you and the uncle and then if you think you can handle her and make a difference you can then tell her you'd like her to stay. It would just be harder on her if you took her in and then realized that you couldn't handle her and had to send her back and she's been through a lot already. Make the rules clear and be firm but loving.
  6. #6
    Accountable is offline Member
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    Thanks to all for your comments. I'm trying to see this situation from all perspectives.

    Since my post earlier this evening, I've spoken with the girl and am beginning to think the real problem may lie with the uncle. It sounds like he may have blown the situation way out of proportion and exagerated the severity of the situation, bringing back memories of conversations I had with the child's late mother where she described her half-brother as a bit of a narcissistic control freak. Too bad she didn't leave a will! The child was very upbeat and sounded very happy where she is. According to the child, the step-grandmother is the party actually taking care of her, and I know that she, at least, is NOT a drinker. I think for now I will just commit to keeping closer tabs on her and plan more frequent visits. I haven't actually witnessed any incompetence on the part of the grandfather and his wife, only hearsay.
    Last edited by Accountable; 12-31-2007 at 10:11 PM.

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