Lawrenceville, GA asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for North Carolina

Q: Can my father regain custody of my sister after signing guardianship over to me?

Around eight months ago my father signed my sisters over to me. I went through the process and was granted guardianship of them. He has a lengthy history of physical violence, drug abuse, theft, and so on. However, there are no legal documents that show the physical, mental, and emotional abuse towards both me and my siblings. Now, he is supposedly clean and married. He has decided he wants to be a father again. My sisters councilor advises me to eliminate all contact with him, but my grandmother snuck him on the phone when she was speaking to my youngest sister despite me asking her not to. He has undiagnosed mental illnesses and I am terrified of him. He is the very definition of a narcissist and I am petrified he will regain custody. Is that possible? As their legal guardian what rights do I have or what steps can I take to prevent this? I am planning to adopt the youngest(my seventeen year old sister doesn’t want to be adopted),but they have to notify the parents. What should I do?

1 Lawyer Answer
Melissa Averett
Melissa Averett
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Its very hard to overturn guardianship, much harder than modifying a custody order. To overturn guardianship, your dad would have to prove that you breached your duty of care to your sisters.

That said, I think I would wait on the adoption. He can fight you on the termination of his parental rights which is a necessary step to the adoption case. Plus, since he has parental rights, you can sue him for child support. If you adopt, the his does not have that financial obligation. Based on the facts you have presented, and without knowing more, you should consider sticking with the guardianship. you should discuss that with a family law attorney in your area who can look over the guardianship paperwork and is familiar with the clerks and judges in your district.

Sara W. Harrington agrees with this answer

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