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How can i get temporary guardianship of my sister in laws kids

Wendell, NC |

My sister in law moved from florida to north carolina, and is now looking at jail time due to theft, she does not want her kids going back to florida with her family, or in foster care, her new husband/childrens step father & I (the sister in law) want to and are willing to take on and care for the children until she deals with this situation, what rights does the step father have and I have in caring for the children legally while she isnt able2, her family wants the kids back in florida bc they have serious medical conditions, but we are well and able to care 4 them, the kids dont want 2 go back and we are afraid her family will push to keep them from her if they get custody, she has never been in trouble before, she just wants them to be able to stay in the same school & not move again

the mother wants the kids with me and their step dad, they do not see their real father, he lives in another state and doesnt help, also i doubt she will be gone for long she plans to do her time if she gets any and come right back, its just too much on the kids to move again, change schools/doctors ....the kids want to be here, they feel safe the whole reason she stole in the first place was to get the money to move away from florida bc her mothers husband went crazy kicked them out and threatend their lives and she was scared....

Attorney Answers 1


The first and primary concern is with the father. If the mother goes to jail then the father has first right to take custody of the children. In the event that he doesn't want the children then the step father can request custody because he has stood in the role of a parent. Her family can ask for custody as well. It depends on a lot of factors such as how long the children have lived with the step father, how long they lived with the other family members, how long they have been here, etc. If the children haven't lived here for at least 6 months then there is an issue with subject matter jurisdiction. I would need more information to really address this question. If mom has a little time you may be able to file a Complaint with her and the father has Defendants. If both parents agreed to give you at least Temporary Custody then you could probably do it by consent. Even with this there are constitutional issues that may come back to hurt the mother later. You really need to sit down with a family law attorney and have a thorough consultation.

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