Q: What needs to be done for my 16 year-old niece to move in with her grandfather?
My niece has, to say the least, a crappy home life. She already moved out once before with friends (which did not go well) and is currently back living with her mother. She has asked to come live with me and my father (her grandfather). I believe her mother is ok with her moving in with us (we have only had a few conversations about the possibility), and I know her father is (the parents are divorced). Assuming both parents agree to the arrangement, what do we have to do legally before she moves in? Will we face issues enrolling her in school? And if her mother is not ok with the arrangement, what can be done? What can we/my niece do?
A: Assuming everyone agrees, you don't have to do anything. You would probably want to hold educational and medical rights, though. You would probably want to become legal guardian. Adoption would first require termination of mom's parental rights. She is getting old enough, emancipation might also be something to consider.
If she doesn't agree, Guardianship is still a possibility. If the child is at risk you could notify CPS and try to get placement pending a possible future reunification with mom.
So, there are many options and these have significant advantages and disadvantages. You need to consult with an attorney so you can get all the details and make some informed choices.
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