As an aunt and uncle can we do something to get custody of our niece?

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As an aunt and uncle can we do something to get custody of our niece?

My niece is 15. She lives with her dad. He just got out of the penetentary. Hes been in there for 7 years. He hdf a meth charge and shooting at the police. Her mother lives in Bradford Tennessee she has been to jail for meth. My niece calls me and her uncle(my husband everyday telling us about him abusing her. We want custody of her and get her in a stable home. She has lived with her mother in Bradford all her life until acouple of months ago. What can we do?

Asked on August 28, 2012 under Family Law, Tennessee

Answers:

Brad Micklin / The Micklin Law Group

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, any person can petition for the custody of any child if that person believes it is in the child's best interest.  It is, however, a difficult burden to take custody away from a natural parent even with the history that you described. Courts prefer to try and rehabilitate the natural parent and improve the parenting skills so that the child will grow up with its natural parents and for a bonding relationship.

I would recommend you speak with a psychologist or psychiatrist to serve as a potential expert witness to testify as to the harm to the child if not in your care. This will be essential if you seek to take custody with natural father.

Brad Micklin, ESQ.
187 Washington Ave.
Nutley, NJ 07110
973 – 562 – 0100
[email protected]


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