Q: How can I obtain visitation rights or joint custody of my brother?
My brother is 14 y M. My mother and her new husband are verbally degrading him on the regular. I don't know that I have any rights as his sister. CPS has had open cases against them but they take my mother's word. She's a great liar.
You certainly can file a Petition for Third-Party Visitation.
You probably cannot file for custody unless you can prove that (1) your brother considers you to be like a mother to him, and (2) it would be significantly detrimental for your brother to be in the care of your mother or any other legal parent he has.
As far as rights go, you are correct. You do not have any rights to your brother. Parents have a Constitutional right to the care, custody, and control of their children. They are the only ones with such rights.
For visitation to protect that right, the Courts are required to give "special weight" to a parent's decision to allow or deny visitation. But even with that law, Courts can, and often do, award visitation against the parent's wishes.
In the event the two parents disagree, their opinions cancel out.
I encourage you to consult with an attorney to discuss further.
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