Can I become a legal guardian for my nephew?

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Can I become a legal guardian for my nephew?

My nephew along with his siblings are going through a custody battle between their parents. The oldest child is 15 and wants to live with me, his aunt, instead of with either one of his parents. Both parents have remarried and my nephew does not like any one of the step-parents. Also he was abused growing up by both parents and dent want to live with either one. The court date is this Thursday. Is there anything I can do to insure that he lives with me and won’t have to live with either of his parents.

Asked on August 26, 2012 under Family Law, Arkansas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, decisions regarding custody and visitation are made in "the best interest of the child."  That is the position you need to take: that it is in his best interest to live with you: stable home and school, etc.  Now, he is old enough to testify and the court will consider his wishes.  But they can not be based upon "child like" responses: they are too strict, I can't watch TV, etc.  He can state how he feels: safe and secure with you; attention to his needs, etc.  Speak with a lawyer.  Good luck.  


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