The laws for gaining custody of a nephew differ somewhat from state to state. In most states in order to obtain complete custody of your nephew you must have permission from the child's parents and the court must rule in your favor and grant you permission to gain custody of the child. Due to the fact that so many states have differing processes and procedures it is necessary to make contact with a lawyer who practices family law. If the court deems the child's parents to be unfit, then the court will have control over who has custody of the child.
Get the consent of both parents to have custody over your nephew. In cases where the parent is single you will only need the consent of the one parent. If there was some type of abuse involved you may not need to have parental consent.
Meet with a lawyer and assess what information and forms you will need to file for guardianship of your nephew. Since every state has different laws and processes, an experienced attorney practicing family law in your area will help you gather all of the information and forms needed to file your petition for custody with the court.
File your petition with the court. You will need to provide the court with your nephew's full name, the full names of his parents, your name and address along with the parents' address.
Tell the court why you are filing the petition. Since the court has the final say in deciding what is best for the child you will need to state your case for the court. Explain in a written statement why the best choice for the child is to remain in your care. Be as specific as possible.
Go to the hearing. At the hearing a judge will examine all of the paperwork and statements along with listening to testimony from all those involved in the case. The judge will take into consideration whether or not you are capable of providing a stable home for the child emotionally, financially and even physically. The court will desire to put the child where he has the best chance of growing and developing in a healthy way.
Sign the oath if you are awarded custody of your nephew. This oath is a vow to take care of the child and provide the child with the best care you can possibly give to ensure your nephew has a healthy, happy life.