Can someone who is not related toa minorget legal custody of them?

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Can someone who is not related toa minorget legal custody of them?

I’m 15 years old and I hate living with my father. I’ve lived with him for 11 years now and all he does is stress me out and yell at me all the time. We just don’t see eye to eye. I can’t live with my mother at the moment because of her living conditions. One of my mother’s friends that I know very well said that I could live with her if I wished. I absolutely want to, I just don’t know if it’s legally possible.

Asked on August 28, 2010 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a party not related can petition the court to ask them to grant legal custody of you, but let me tell you that it is not as easy as filing a petition in court.  Parents are given priority and "yelling at you" is not, in and of itself, a reason that the court will grant your wish.  Custody determinations are made in the "best interest of the child" in most courts and I bet that Florida is the same.  You should speak with an attorney as to your situation about what behaviour or living situation the court would consider to be detrimental to you.  Physical abuse is not the only thing that the court looks at.  Mental abuse is looked at as well.  And the court will ask you about the situation given your age.  Just because you do not like our Dad's rules is not a good reason to want to leave.  Seek help.  And get help from a guidance counselor at school if things are bad.  Good luck.  


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