Can an adult sibling get custody oftheir minorsister if her father is both mentally and physically abusive towards her?

UPDATED: May 31, 2011

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Can an adult sibling get custody oftheir minorsister if her father is both mentally and physically abusive towards her?

My 13 year old sister lives in CO with my father. She is being verbally and mentally abused (as he did with all of his children). She ran away from home but he found her. She has 5 adult siblings in CA that would all love to take care of her, plus her maternal grandparents are there also. Is verbal and mental abuse of a minor taken seriously in court? She called me the other day when she ran away and said she wishes she was dead with her mother, and that she hates my father and can’t take it anymore. What, if anything, can I do?

Asked on May 31, 2011 under Family Law, Colorado


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is commendable that you wish to take charge of the situation for the sake of your sister.  What you need to do is to start a proceeding to gain custody of your sister.  Here is the thing, though, the custody proceeding has to be started in Colorado, since that is physically where she is at this point in time.  You need to hire an attorney and file there.  Your sister is old enough to testify in the proceeding and the Court will give her testimony weight.  She needs to be specific as to the abusive behaviour of your Father.  Being strict is not being abusive.  And listen, have you heard the saying "there is strength in numbers?"  Well, that could not be trues in this situation where there are 5 siblings who can also testify as his past behaviour and how it effected each of you.  Get help.  Good luck to you all.  

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