Can I get partial custody of my niece and nephew? 8 Answers as of May 10, 2013

My sister and brother in law are homeless so they placed the kids with me and my husband. My niece and nephew's dental health was neglected while in their parents' care as well as their health. They both have horrendous coughs. My husband and I are taking them to and from school and doctor and dentist visits. I have yet to gain a copy of the kids' medical card which puts me in a bind getting them approved for their appointments. My sister and brother in law are both homeless and when lucky they get to stay from house to house if not they are in their truck. They are also both jobless. Please let me know if I can take any steps to make it legal that my niece and nephew are with me and can remain with me until my sister and her husband get their life on track and better parenting skills?

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Derek L. Hall, PLLC | Derek L. Hall
If you Sister and Brother in law are willing to give you a guardianship, then you can get petition the chancery court for an agreed guardianship, which will allow you to take custody of the children until such time as the parents get on their feet, if ever. If they are not in agreement, you could file your own petition in Chancery Court for a guardianship based upon neglect. IF they are not in agreement with that plan, then I would advise you to contact the Department of Human Services (DHS) and report these children as neglected. DHS will conduct an investigation and put the matter before the Youth Court. At that time you could request that the Youth Court place the children in your care.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 5/10/2013
Yes you can. You have a couple of different options available to you. Contact a family law attorney to see as to how to best proceed.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/9/2013
Law Office of Brent R. Chipman
Law Office of Brent R. Chipman | Brent R. Chipman
You can apply through the court to obtain a guardianship and conservatorship over the children. A guardianship allows you to have rights over the children. The conservatorship is necessary if the you need to manage financial assets for the children. The parents would need to be given notice and would either need to agree to the guardianship or the judge would have to determine that a guardianship was in the best interests of the children. A guardianship would be necessary if you want to add the children to your family's health insurance coverage. The guardianship could be set aside if and when your sister and brother in law are able to care for the children. You sister and brother in law can also delegate their parental rights to you for a period of up to 6 months by signing a power of attorney. They could sign subsequent delegations if the children need to be in your care for more than 6 months. This option would allow you to enroll the children in school and consent to medical treatment.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 5/9/2013
Kunin &Carman | Ishi Kunin
You should be seeking guardianship of the kids. That will allow you to place them on your insurance and make all medical and educational decisions. If the parents will sign a consent, the process is relatively quick.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/9/2013
File a guardianship petition with the courts. Also if the parents are not taking care of the children's health issues, medical neglect may be involved. Consider contacting child protective services.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/9/2013
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot
    Correia-Champa & Mailhot | Susan Correia Champa
    I would advise that you file for emergency guardianship of your niece and nephew. Based upon the circumstances that you describe in your email it is my position that you would have a good chance of obtaining guardianship. Likewise, the parents can assent to the guardianship which would make the process easier. I suggest you contact an attorney to help you with the process.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    The easiest way is to have them give you a durable power of attorney giving you the authority to make educational, disciplinary and medical decisions for the children. The parents can terminate the POA at any time, but it should be helpful.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/9/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You will need to go to Court and get an order of temporary custody/guardianship if you wish to remotely control this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/9/2013
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