Child Custody of Nephew
by Jennifer from Asheville, North Carolina
My brother is in prison for the next 5 years. His baby momma gave me temporary custody of their 2 year old son back in April 2010 saying that she couldn't handle him. I moved to North Carolina in August with her knowledge.
Currently she is living with and involved with a man who is under investigation by DCF for alleged sexual abuse on her 5 year old daughter.
She called me three weeks ago demanding the 2 year old back. I told her that my new job prohibits me from taking any time off and so if she wants her son then she will need to come to NC and get him. Of course, I am really more concerned that she will place in him danger with living with his guy.
Do I have any legal rights to ask for emergency custody of my nephew to protect him from his non-protective mother and her new boyfriend? By the way, the DCF investigator won't talk to me. She says the investigation is confidential. So they are no help.
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
In Florida, as an aunt, you would have standing to petition the court for temporary child custody by an extended family member under Florida statute 751.
I do not know if there is a comparable law in North Carolina.
However, all of the states must act in the child's best interests in child custody issues.
I gather that the DCF investigation is in Florida, and the Florida investigator will not speak with you.
Sometimes you can overcome their confidentiality rule, by explaining that you are only offering information, and are not asking for them to give you any information.
The investigator will likely deny that there is any investigation at all, or tell you that he cannot comment on whether there is an investigation or not, etc.
My suggestion is that you petition the court in North Carolina for temporary custody.
If the child has been in NC for six months, then NC should recognize that as the child's home state, and be willing to accept jurisdiction.
If I were in your position, I would refuse to surrender the child to the mother. Please seek legal counsel from an attorney.Notice:
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