Is it possible that I can file for guardianship over my two nieces who live out of the country? 4 Answers as of August 30, 2016

November 9, 2015, my brother passed away. He was the other who take care of the children because their mom is not in their life. I am the only sister he has. I financially take care of my nieces from since my brother passed away with the help of my aunt looking over them which am grateful for but I am worried because her husband once molest a child underage. I want them to be under my watchful eyes and help raise my brother’s kids. I am 24 years old working and going to school.

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Alena Shautsova
Alena Shautsova | Alena Shautsova
You can file at the place where the kids reside. If they live outside the US. local courts would not have jurisdiction.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/30/2016
Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
I don't see how a United States Court can exercise jurisdiction over two children who are outside the country. It might be possible to bring them to the United States under a plan for adoption. I think your best course is to consult a lawyer in the locality where the children reside.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 8/29/2016
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
Whether you can become the guardian of your nieces depends on the laws of their country. But, in any event, you will not be able to bring them into the US for permanent residence as your wards. You might want to talk to an attorney in your nieces' country about adopting them.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/29/2016
Law Offices of Helene Ellenbogen, P.S.H | Helene Ellenbogen
You left out several significant facts. Are these children US citizens living abroad or are they foreign nationals. If they are US citizens, you can bring them here and then file to be made the guardian based on your brother's death. The mother will have to be notified and does have an automatic right to the children, but it may not be in their best interest to live with her if she has not been in their lives. You also don't say who has legal custody of them now. Your aunt? Anyone? Did your brother leave a will indicating who should be the guardian for his children? If so, the court would likely follow that intention. You also don't say how old the kids are. You are quite young. If the children are young (6 or under) the court may well consider that differently than they would placing older kids with someone your age. If the children are not US citizens (or have a green card) then the laws of the country of their citizenship would govern. Since you don't say where they live, I have no idea what the laws might be. Please seek a lawyer's advice as this is a complicated problem and you need the help of someone who knows what they're doing.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 8/26/2016
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