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How Do I Get Custody of My Siblings?

It’s generally known that courts have a preference not to separate siblings when they’re issuing custody orders. What happens if one sibling wishes to have custody of another? In many cases, an older sibling is going to want to take a younger sibling out of an unsafe or harmful parents care. In other situations, a younger sibling might believe they’re better suited to take care of a disabled older sibling.

There are legal ways for you to get custody of a sibling – keep reading and find out how.

Sibling’s Best Interests

Obtaining custody of a sibling is going to involve court filings and/or orders. At any time a court is making a ruling concerning child custody, that determination is going to be made in the best interest of the child. Whereas courts may consider parents or legal guardians when making a decision concerning custody, they might look at a multitude of elements when determining whether awarding custody to a sibling is in that sibling’s best interests:

  • The child’s preference (if they are old or able enough);
  • The physical and/or mental health of the parents;
  • The requirement of maintaining a stable home environment;
  • The child’s interaction and connection with other family members and the household;
  • The child’s flexibility to school and commune; and
  • If there is evidence of domestic abuse, parental use of undue discipline or mental abuse, or parental drug and/or alcohol use, or child abuse.

As mentioned, courts often consider the well-being of other children and siblings, finding that maintaining custody arrangements with siblings is in the child’s best interest.

Sibling’s Guardian

To gain legal custody of a sibling, typically, you must petition the court for guardianship, following state-specific procedures, forms, and paperwork. You, as the guardian, generally need to be over eighteen or legally emancipated, while your sibling should be a minor or legally dependent. Procedures may vary by jurisdiction, so consulting with a custody attorney is advisable to navigate the process effectively.

Source:

  1. Christopher Coble, E. (2019, March 21). Can you get custody of a sibling? FindLaw. Retrieved September 27, 2021, from https://www.findlaw.com/legalblogs/law-and-life/can-you-get-custody-of-a-sibling/.

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