Get Custody Of Nephew

by Susie from Margate, Florida, Broward County


How can I get custody of my nephew? I have been taking care of my husband's nephew since he was 3 months old and he has lived with us since he was 6 months old. He is now 5 yrs old.

Mother is back and forth in a mental institute and has never made any attempts to come see the child.

The Father (my brother-in-law) lives in NY with his parents and he cannot take care of the child. He said he's better off with us, but neither parents wants to give up there rights.

I think because they benefit from the government using the child. We would like to adopt him. He calls me mom and my husband (his uncle) dad.

What can I do? I have enrolled him in pre school and have been paying for school for him since he was 2 yrs old. Please help me!

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Susie,

Your situation is heart-breaking and believe it or not, it is a very common situation.

The good news is that there is a way forward.

The legal process you can pursue is petitioning the court for temporary custody of your nephew.

As an aunt and uncle, you qualify as "extended family members" and can use the Petition for Temporary Custody process to gain legal custody of your nephew, which can also include child support.

Normally, consents of the biological parents are required, but can be waived by the court for special circumstances. Among these circumstances are abandonment, neglect, or abuse, and that temporary custody would be in the child’s best interests.

There you will find the forms, instructions, and some very useful information to help you in this process. You should also know, that if any of the child’s parents will not give their consents, it will be important for you to be very familiar with the law in this case.

Especially on proving the circumstances for the "specific acts or omissions" which will qualify for abandonment, neglect, and any of the other reasons for getting a waiver of the required consent(s) approved by a judge.

Have a look at the following related pages on temporary custody on our site and at the bottom of this page for more information...

Florida Temporary Custody Law

Temporary Custody in Florida

Temporary Custody Forms

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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