How to Get Guardianship of a Nephew

By Jody Wilber
A court must establish guardianship based on the best interest of the child.

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In most cases, obtaining guardianship for your nephew if he is a minor child will require permission from his legal parents and permission from a court. Each state has its own rules and procedures for retaining guardianship so it is advisable to speak with an attorney before filing papers requesting guardianship of your nephew with the court. In cases where the legal parents can't be found or are considered unfit, the court will issue a decision based on what it sees as the best interests of the child.

Obtain permission from the child's legal parents to get guardianship of your nephew. In most cases you will need consent from both parents, or one parent if only she is available. Some cases, where there is abuse or abandonment, may not require consent of the child's legal parents.

File a petition in court for guardianship of your nephew. Requirements for the petition will be different depending on the state that you live in, but most times you will need to include the full name of the child, the full name of his legal parents, the full name of the proposed guardian and the addresses of both the parents and the proposed legal guardian.

State your reason for filing the petition. Most courts make a judgment for guardianship based on what is in the best interest of the child. Write down why guardianship with you is the best choice.

Attend a court hearing. The judge will go through the paperwork and listen to testimony from all parties wishing to retain guardianship. The judge will decide the case based on a number of factors including your ability to care for your nephew physically, emotionally and financially.

Sign an oath stating that you understand what it means to be a guardian and that you will take this on with the best interests of the child in mind.

About the Author

Based in Las Vegas, Jody Wilber has been freelance writing since 2004. Her articles have appeared in "Christianity Today," "The Upper Room" and "The Review Journal." She is formally a high-school English and journalism teacher. She graduated from California Baptist University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and went on to achieve her Master in Education from Sierra Nevada College.

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