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How to get legal custody?

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? WV/MD/VA

Our state is probably the most complicated part of the process... Our niece and my husband are legal residents of WV; I am a legal resident of VA. My husband is active duty. We are stationed in MD and are returning to VA in Dec 09. I don't know which state to start the process in.

Our niece was place in the foster care system in WV in 1995. She was taken from her mother at that time, no one knows who the father is. After three months in foster care, my MIL signed paperwork taking over legal guardianship/custody. The mother had to pass parenting classes before they would even consider returning custody. According to her she wouldn't pass them if she could. The situation stayed the same until this month, the niece was not doing well. So we took over physical custody and she is attending a naval academy here.

We need to at least get legal custody, so she can be added to our insurance- as she is behind on a lot of medical care. Where do we start? We can't exactly run to other states to try to get answers (no one seems to return calls) as I am pregnant, have a toddler, homeschool a nine year old, and don't want to mess up Cedez' school schedule (as she's doing well). I will be in WV the after Thanksgiving, but only for the day; so I don't have time to run back and forth; but need a plan that I can squeeze into a few hours.

IDK, if it matters; but the paper work I have is from a family court in WV. It isn't, however, from a county that I am familiar with. WVDHHR states the she is not and has not been in state care; but was temporarily in 95 placed in county care? I didn't know that was even an option.

Any advice, suggestions, etc. Would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance,

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