Hemet, CA asked in Child Custody and Family Law for California

Q: Can I get custody of my 13 & 17 yr old?My moms had custody for 10 yrs?She already leaves him for months at a time w/ me

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2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Under California law, custody decisions are made based on the best interests of the children. Several factors are considered when determining custody arrangements:

1. The age and health of the children

2. The emotional ties between the children and each parent

3. The ability of each parent to care for the children

4. Any history of family violence or substance abuse

5. The children's ties to school, home, and community

In your case, there are a few important points to consider:

1. The 17-year-old child is close to the age of majority (18) and may have more say in their living arrangements.

2. The fact that your mother has left the children with you for extended periods may work in your favor, as it demonstrates your ability to care for them.

3. The length of time your mother has had custody (10 years) may be a factor in maintaining stability for the children.

To seek custody, you would need to file a petition with the court to modify the existing custody order. It is highly recommended that you consult with a family law attorney who can assess your specific situation and advise you on the best course of action. They can also help you navigate the legal process and represent your interests in court.

Additionally, if you believe the children are in immediate danger or being neglected, you should contact Child Protective Services (CPS) in your county for assistance.

Robert Kane
Robert Kane
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Eagan, MN
  • Licensed in California

A: Unfortunately, you don't provide nearly enough information to determine whether you can get custody of your 13 & 17 yr old. Ten years is a long time. Unless your mother is willing to consent, you will likely need to convince a judge. I suggest you start by looking into termination of guardianship, but I don't even know if that is appropriate because you didn't say. Hopefully you saved money for an attorney over the years.

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