My uncle has a huge drinking problem that has caused him to have an extensive criminal record. He is very verbally abusive towards his wife who has a learning disability and his daughter who is autistic and has epilepsy. We receive multiple phone call from her asking us for help to get her some sort of temporary custody of her daughter and for us to take over permanent guardianship of her. My uncle is unwilling to give up his parenting rights and his wife had her rights taken away because her disability doesn't allow her to take care of a child. We live in MN and they live in FL. What rights do we have along with the biological mother to help this child into a safer more stable environment? We have already contacted their case workers in both states but have not heard anything further
The situation you describe is a complex one and I have several questions to ask before formulating an answer for you. I am licensed in both Minnesota and Florida. Please feel free to contact my office at 800-637-2209 if you would like to discuss the matter further.
3 lawyers agree
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
This sounds like a very complex issue as counsel has stated. You probably are going to need to contact a lawyer as it will be difficult to explain and resolve these issues on an internet forum. Good luck.
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Family Law Attorney
The short answer is not many. First, anything would have to be done in FL, not MN. Second, you've already contacted the social worker(s) assigned to your aunt and their child, but nothing has been done. That's a problem because if the state doesn't see a problem, you have next to no chance of obtaining custody. Third, in order for YOU to be able to do anything, you'd have to file a family petition in FL seeking custody of the child. You'd have to prove the child is in actual danger, not just that your uncle is mean or not very nice. The aunt is of no use since she has already had her rights taken away - she isn't going to get them now unless she has suddenly become capable of caring for her child? And, unless the uncle's criminal record involves harming his family, that's probably not going to be of much use. This is a hard burden to meet, and you'd also have to show that you're capable of caring for people with disabilities AND that they'd be better served being moved across the country to MN (unless you're going to move to FL?). Frankly, this would probably be impossible to achieve, but that's what you'd have to do.
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