Lebanon, OR asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Oregon

Q: In Oregon if I have physical custody of My nephew and I file guardianship papers who does he stay with until court?

Nephew is 11yrs old his father is very unstable and lives in a van and in and out of his car and hotel rooms for the last few years.. now my nephew is living with a friend of his fathers and has been for a few months meanwhile his dad is still living in his car. My nephew talks about his dad and girlfriend having sex and arguing in front of him constantly and says he wants to die because his dad doesn’t care about him. I supply his clothes and get his hair cut and supply his basic needs. Today i got a call from the lady my nephew was dropped off to stay with by his dad.. she told me his dad is not helping her take care of Blake and she wanted to reach out to me with some concerns she had. I need to know what my rights are as his aunt and where to go from here.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nathan Held
Nathan Held

A: You seem to have a few questions. First, what are your rights as your nephew's aunt? You don't have any rights relating to your nephew, with exceptions that are not relevant here. Second, where will your nephew stay until the court date? Your nephew will stay where his parents allow him to stay. Unless you nephew's custody was changed by a court in a custody or guardianship judgment, his parents both retain custody until the court has determined the person it is in his best interest to stay with. If your nephew's parents let you take care of your nephew, keep him in your home, provide for him, etc., then you have physical custody until they revoke it.

Filing for guardianship is a way for you to gain legal as well as physical custody over your nephew. This will be much easier to do if you can get the consent of one or both of your nephew's parents. If both parents consent to you being the guardian of their child, you should have few issues getting guardianship. But if either of your nephew's parent's challenge your petition for guardianship within 30 days of being served with notice, then you will have to show a judge how it is in the best interest of your nephew that he stay with you. Judges prefer that children stay with parents, but if they find that it is in the child's best interest not to live with their parents, they might award custody to another person.

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