If our niece lost her mother last year and the father has never wanted to be a part other life, how can I get custody of her?

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If our niece lost her mother last year and the father has never wanted to be a part other life, how can I get custody of her?

Her great great aunt and uncle have had custody of her since she was 2, she is now 6. My husband and I live in one state and he is her uncle; her mother was his sister, our niece lives in another state. Can we take custody there and then take her here legally? We are in our late 20’s and the people taking care of her now are in their 80’s but don’t want to give her up. We can provide longer for her then they can, how much legal right do we have to take custody of her?

Asked on November 25, 2012 under Family Law, California

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

There are many facts that are not listed here that will impact on guidance given.  This is a very complicated matter but there are some generalities that can help guide you now. First, if you are going to file for custody of the child then you need to file in the state of residence of the child, not in your state.  I think you understand that from the way you have written the question.  Next, child custody determinations are made "in the best interests of the child."  Now, although age can be a factor in the determination it will not be the only factor.  Please speak with an attorney in detail here.  


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