My parents have been helping care for my nephew his entire life. He 13 years old now. The past 3 years he has been living with my parents full time. They have been raising him as their own child. My sister is in a volatile relationship with the father of her other 3 children and my nephew does not get along with the man because of it. The reason my nephew came to live with my parents was because of the fighting and violence that was happening in the home. My sister keeps saying she has nothing to do with my nephew and it is my mom's responsibility. Now he got into legal trouble and my sister did not respond to the notices with juvenile center and tells my mom that she cannot do anything about it.
Yes, they may. Arizona law allows individuals who stand in loco parentis (in other words, people whom the child treats as a parent) to file for custody. The most successful petitions I have seen of this type are where the people filing have been raising the child.
There are some exceptions and other requirements, but I think it's likely they could get custody. I'd recommend they speak with an attorney where they live.
This answer is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. I'm licensed only in Arizona.
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