My question involves guardianship in the State of: FL, MO, NJ
I think I have a complicated situation, but I could be looking at this all wrong. Any advise would be appreciated.
My brother passed away a couple years ago and he had a son, my nephew. His ex-wife (my nephews mother) has been in and out of jail for the last 15 years with drugs, prostitution, etc. His ex-wife is a resident of Florida, and when my brother passed he was a resident of Florida. My nephews mother is presently in jail in Florida, but has issued guardianship to her parents (the boys grandparents) who have moved to MO. The grandparents do not work, are involved in drugs, and have issued statements that they will fight anyone in court who comes for the boy. In addition they keep moving every year or so and keep it a secret to my family so we have difficulty finding him. As well, they've also said privately to others that they will fight to keep the boy because they get my brothers SSD benefits and don't want to lose them. My nephew does not want to live with them because its been abusive in the past, and he knows why they're keeping him. We've just recently been successful in finding him because he reached out to my oldest daughter on Facebook (I guess it is good for something).
I am a successful businessman with a family in NJ. I want to take my nephew and get him help, and show him that his family loves him and wants the best for him. My extended family is ready to support the efforts for me to get him. As far as I'm concerned they can keep the SSD, I don't need it nor do I want it. However, I do need legal guardianship in order to get him on my health benefits, to get him enrolled in school, and get him treatment. I know if I take the boy from MO without any custody papers it's called kidnapping even if he wants to come with me.
Sorry for the long history, but here's my ultimate question;
1. Do I need to get his mother in FL to sign over custody to me, or can I just make a petition in FL to gain custody based on an expanded history of what I wrote above?
2. Because he's now in MO, can the grandparents contest anything in MO courts if the mother of State of FL give me custody?
3. Do I have any rights to my nephew as a direct relative given the circumstances described above?
Thank you in advance.