Can o get custody of a child that isn't biologically mine or not related in any way?
4 attorney answers
Hello, I'm sorry for the situation that you're in, and you are to be commended for your actions. I Agree with the other attorneys here. In your situation, getting any type of custody would be a two step process.
1) As correctly stated by the other attorneys, the first step would be to have a judge rule that you that have been acting in loco parentis. For clarification, the term "in loco parentis" is a fancy legal way of saying that you have been acting the same way a biological parent would act.
2) Once it's been determined that you have been acting in loco parentis, the custody action will proceed no differently than two biological parents seeking custody.
I understand your financial situation, but you should understand that this is a complicated process. I would highly recommend that you seek a family law attorney who can guide you through the process.
It is also worth noting that when determining custody, a judge's primary focus is what will be in the child's best interest. There are 16 factors that a judge will look at (see link below). An experienced family attorney can spend time with you discussing these factors and present them in a light most favorable to you.
It is difficult -- but not impossible -- for a court to rule that you stood in loco parentis to the child and therefore have standing to ask for custody. That being said, these cases can be very challenging. The fact that your boyfriend has been in the picture will most certainly complicate your claim. I strongly recommend that you speak with an attorney. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Take advantage of that so that you can discuss the specifics of your case more in depth.
As attorney Engle noted, it is possible to seek custody in these circumstances, however, since the father is in the picture (and apparently lives with you) expect to encounter some challenges.
Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.
Crawford Law Firm
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Yes, if you've been jn a position as a parent (in loco parentis) for 12 months or more, you have standing to bring a custody action. What's the position of the natural mom? If she's in agreement with your position you stand an even greater chance of success.
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