Older siblings can obtain custody of younger one

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

In some cases where Illinois parents are not capable of taking care of their child, a sibling may attempt to get custody. However, this can sometimes be difficult as siblings are often close in age. As such, the sibling seeking custody will have to show the court that he or she is independent, stable and can financially support the child.

People can become a legal guardian to their younger sibling without having to go to court. For example, the parents can relinquish legal custody to a sibling at any time if they find that they are unable to properly care for the child. If the parents agree to relinquish custody, the process can be fairly simple and without a custody fight.

If the parents refuse to relinquish custody, the sibling may have to go to court. The sibling will need to file an application for custody in the court that has jurisdiction over the area where the sibling and the sibling’s legal guardian reside. The sibling seeking custody will also need to provide evidence that shows that the child’s parents are neglectful, abusive or are otherwise harming the child as the court may be reluctant to take custody from the child’s parents unless the child is in danger.

Legal custody can be complex as courts can allocate decision-making power over each part of a child’s life. This means that a parent or guardian could have power to make decisions regarding the child’s healthcare or education. However, if a parent is making harmful decisions for their children, a sibling or other family member may seek legal and physical custody so that the child can have a stable home life. An attorney can help the sibling or other family member demonstrate that the child is being harmed and that the sibling or family member can financially provide for the child.

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