What do I do to file either for legal custody or permanent guardianship of my little brother and nephew?

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What do I do to file either for legal custody or permanent guardianship of my little brother and nephew?

My little sister passed away last year and my mom filed for permanent guardianship of my nephew and got it. Now my mother passed away 3 weeks ago and she left my 13 year old brother and 1 year old nephew behind. I am the next of kin to them both; I’m 24 years old. What am I facing? What’s the process for permanent guardianship?

Asked on August 19, 2012 under Family Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is surely commendable or you to want to take on the responsibility of raising both of these children.  They are lucky to have you in their lives.  You should speak with an attorney - legal aid may indeed do - to discuss the requirements in your state. Generally you have to show a stable home for the children: place to live, income for raising them (but you may be able to apply for government assistance in support in the form of social security survivor benefits for both of them) and a plan for caring for them (schooling for the 13 year old and care for the 1 year old). You need to show that you are a positive influence and really if even a small amount of the obvious caring comes through the court should have no problem here so long as all the other factors all in to place. Good luck.


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