Q: I’ve taken care of my boyfriends daughter for 4 years after can I gain custody if we break up ?
My boyfriends daughter moved in with us 2 weeks before we gave birth to our son, because her mother was sent to prison. Her mother lost all rights due to lack of visitation leaving him with full custody. I have been a supplement mother to her since she was 4 years old ( she’s now 8 about to turn 9 in October ). I’ve taken care of her as one of my own besides her not being one of my bio-logical 4 kids I have. ( 2 with him 2 with other men) He does help pay bills and he is on child support but he has not been there emotionally for her or our 2 sons we share. He is constantly disrespectful to me, my children, and other family members. The only reason I am still with him Is because I don’t know if I can gain custody of her. We’ve been together for almost 5 years . This child has a bond with not only her bio-logical brothers but sees my 2 eldest as her older brother and sister. She lives with me in her own bedroom, and has all the necessary things. Money is very tight though
A: Generally for a non-parent to gain custody of a child, the person has to show that not only that they are the real or better parent but that the legal parent is unfit. A parent's rights are protected by the Constitution and parental unfitness is a high standard. If the biological parents have abandoned the child to a non-parent for a period of time (usually at least 6 months) then there are other options that generally aren't available when the child continues to live with the biological parent.
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