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Can my sister get custody of my son?

From birth to age 3 i have been there for my son. His father went to prison when he was 2 and so to say the least i ended up a single teen parent. I had a stable home and job and everything was going great. A few months back i lost my job and i became depressed and stressed. My oldest sister offered to take my son in while i stablize myself. I'm in the process of getting a job and finishing school when my sister tells me that she has hired a lawyer and has filed for custody. No warning and just out of no where. It crushed me. I love my son and i'm worried that she might just get custody and i might not ever have him again. So in extent my question is can my sister get custody? and if so what can i do to keep that from happening?

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Asked by Mermaidmarii at 8:13 PM on Apr. 17, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 2 (12 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • Have you seen your son in the time that she has had him?


    Answer by JeremysMom at 8:17 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • Yes

    Comment by Mermaidmarii (original poster) at 8:21 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • Why did you not live with your sister and your son, here is the deal, you chose to be away from him and hand him over to her, maybe the fact your baby's daddy went to prison, and then you couldn't cope, and instead for asking for help for the both of you, he just was "given" to her is a huge red flag,
    I am not being harsh but reality is you gave birth to a son, his father went to prison, (you can't deny you didn't realize he was a bad guy)
    You became depressed, and unable to care for him, sister took him, and to be honest if he is thriving there, meaning no bad people, no bad home, etc. Why don't you ask her for you to move in. Unless there is something that you are hiding, it would seem to me you do everything in your power to be with your child, I am not discounting your depression, but have a feeling there is much much much more to this story, You need to be stable, start by talking to her not attacking her.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 8:21 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • I'm not hiding anything. Every family has their story. My sister is not only my sister but she is my best friend and she knows everything about me. the reason i can't live with her is because we have our differences and she and i both respect that. yeah i "gave" her my son but thats only because she offered the help until i was stable and what mother wouldnt take that help when having lost a job and a home? My son deserves the best and i plan on giving him that. All im asking is if she can do that and what i can do to get him back. nothing more nothing less

    Comment by Mermaidmarii (original poster) at 8:33 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • If she is your best friend then she will listen to you, I would do anything she wanted me to do, she offered you help, you chose to take it, and now you can't communicate?

    Answer by jerseydiva at 8:44 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • How long is 'a few months'? Six? Eight? Twelve? The longer you son is there, the better her chances of gaining custody. The courts call it 'status quo', and once it's been established they tend to stick with it to keep from upsetting the child's life. Most courts don't consider a situation the status quo until it's been at least a year.

    Have you been served papers? Did she tell you to expect to be served? If not, she hasn't filed and she's just trying to scare you.

    He's your child. You are free to go and get him any time you wish. She can't stop you, and if she's threatening you it is in your best interest to do just that. Go to a woman's shelter, stay with friends, do what ever you have to do. Just don't leave him with her another day.

    Answer by desert_diva at 8:52 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • she has no legal rights at this time....right?
    so , go get your son

    she is "your best friend" you say
    but obviously she is not yours

    unless there is more to the story??? how long has your sis had your child??

    Answer by fiatpax at 9:17 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • I agree; go get your son now, if your sister has no legal rights to withhold him. It will be easier for you to keep him if you have him with you and she's the one trying to take him from your home. Having a job and a stable home will also help your case. Unless your sister has dirt on you from the past--documented drug addiction, child abuse--she probably doesn't have a good leg to stand on. Be very honest with yourself, not necessarily with a bunch of strangers on the Internet but in your heart of hearts, about anything your sister might be able to use against you. Talk to Legal Aid; there may be resources to help you pay for a lawyer. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, and sometimes even when there are, courts still favor leaving a young child with his mom. I wish you the best, having been through family trying to take my child. It's a wrenching place to be when those you trust most are suddenly the enemy.

    Answer by Ballad at 10:09 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • She mightt get temporary custody.

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:15 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

  • Its been less than 2 months. and i now have a stable home and stable income. i just needed a little help and even though she did help she is now taking matters into her own hands. we had an agreement that she would care for him (i.e. letting him stay with her and taking care of him) only until im stable and now that i have told her that i am, she decided to tell me she is going to file for custody and has no reason to do so. im not a drug addict and im not a bad mom. i just lost my job and home and needed the help she offered. yeah i thought she was my friend but its obvious to me that thats not how things are now. i havent been served with any papers. and i have a feeling she just said that to scare me. (not knowing why she would do it) im in the dark about this as much as you guys are. but i have decided its time for me to go get my son and go from there. thank you all for the input i appreciate it.

    Comment by Mermaidmarii (original poster) at 11:43 PM on Apr. 17, 2013

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