How can we get custody of my niece? 11 Answers as of March 22, 2013

My 14 year old niece has being living with my wife and I since May of 2012. My sister-in-law left her family to be with a guy and was living motel to motel. She didn't make arrangements for my niece and we just took her in. She became pregnant by the man she was with and he got arrested for probation violation. He has been to prison and is a member of a violent prison gang. She eventually got an apartment in a different city but is totally dependent on the government and has a history of drug use although she is clean for now and has no job. She only has one child out of 4 living with her and that is the one she just had. She can't even afford gas money to go anywhere. She recently got engaged to this man who is still in jail. My niece wants to live with us and this has happened 3 other times when she was younger. Her legal adoptive dad (who does not have custody) is on my side with this and just wants her to be happy. We have received no child support from her mom. Every time her mom gets mad she threatens to get the police and come get her and we are tired of the threats. We have been married for 9 years, have 2 daughters ages 8 and 3, and own our home. Can we get custody of her?

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Fran Brochstein
Fran Brochstein | Fran Brochstein
You need to immediately talk to a family law attorney. It appears in the State of Texas that you have had possession of her long enough to ask a court to grant you custody. You need to talk to an attorney and quit waiting. Please do it now and quit being scare of the threats of the mom.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/22/2013
Rebecca Rainwater
Rebecca Rainwater | Rebecca Rainwater
You should file for guardianship.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/22/2013
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
There may be a chance if the Mom is still abusing drugs or does not have a stable home environment.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/21/2013
Carey and Leisure | John Smitten
You have to file a petition for relative custody under Chapter 751 Florida Statutes.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 3/21/2013
You need to file for guardianship of your niece. Her legal father can sign that he agrees to this. It is not cheap but is the only way to legally protect her and yourself.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    File for guardianship.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    You must commence an action for third party custody where, if contested, a trial must occur. You would be wise to retain experienced counsel.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    The Martin Law Group
    The Martin Law Group | Yolvondra Martin-Brown
    Yes, you have a good chance of obtaining custody based on the circumstances. You will need to file a third party petition for a change of custody in the Superior Court. You may also be able to file a deprivation action in Juvenile Court, but the best and quickest way to change custody is to file a petition with the Superior Court.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    This depends on the law of the State you live in. Before you do anything, talk to a divorce lawyer. And do that soon.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    The Law Office of Erin Farley
    The Law Office of Erin Farley | Erin Farley
    Apply for guardianship immediately.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    File for a guardianship.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 3/21/2013
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