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Guardianship or possible custody of 16 yr old in NY state

Rochester, NY |

My son's girlfriend is 16 and in one month will be 17yrs old. they have a three month old child together. Her mother had sole custody of her and she passed away three weeks ago. The girl's father has not been in her life for 7 years. The girl has lived with me for the past year other than every other weekend going back to visit with her mother. Her mother's boyfriend is living in her deceased mother's home. The girl receives Social Security Disability and wants to become either emancipated minor or have me as a guardian. What do I do legally to assist her in this time. She has a brother who is 20 but is unfit to take care of her due to a drug problem, but wants custody of her to get her SSI money. Please advise how I can help her.

The father has called her and expressed his condolences, however, wants her to come and live with him and he has no job nor a place for her to stay other than with him and his girlfriend at her house. She does not want to go, she wishes to stay with her baby and the baby's father. The mother's boyfriend is stating that is her dead mother's wishes to have him assist her and give her the SSD money as he sees fit. He has recently called me and has asked me if I would be guardian for her because he doesn't want her 20 year old brother to take her in his home which is unfit and he uses drugs. What rights does this young girl have of her own since she is a mother herself now and about to turn 17. Can she go and set up her own account with Social Security and be on her own, or does she need a guardian designated? Thank you.

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Attorney answers 1


I am sorry to hear about your situation. She should not be on her own due to her age. If you are willing to care for her which you seem to be you can petition the court. Although her father and mother's boyfriend are interested, their motives have been questioned and yours have not so it appears that you are best suited for this.

You should contact an attorney to discuss your questions as additional information would be helpful.

Our firm has many years of experience in this field.

I wish you the best of luck.

Please remember that I do not normally monitor these questions after I have posted a reply.

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Hayley Greenberg
Greenberg & Merola, LLP
Attorneys at Law
521 5th Ave. Ste. 1700
New York, NY 10175
(212) 593-6111, facsimile (516) 887-1720
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