My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Michigan
I'll try to keep this simple: My brother has two boys (11 yrs & 12 yrs). Their biological mother had her parental rights terminated 8 years ago. These kids have been in the system for several years and just in the last 4 years have been living full-time with their father (my brother) and his wife.
Recently, my brother took off to Texas and we have learned that he is not planning on coming back to Michigan anytime soon, plans on leaving his wife, and has essentially left his two boys with the "step-mom".
We have now come to learn that the step-mother is mistreating the boys. When we see them, they are dirty, clothes are torn and are several sizes too small. The boys do not have underpants or socks. And they are living in the basement of their home, with both boys sharing a single mattress. (We have witnessed this).
Today my brother called and asked if myself and my husband would take temporary custody of his boys. My husband and I have no children, we have a home, we have extra bedrooms, and we both are employed and could afford to care of our nephews.
So I guess my question(s) are:
(1) Since my brother is the one with sole custody of the boys, is he able to sign over temporary custody of the boys without step-mom interfering?
(2) Does the "step-mom" have any say as to whether or not we can take the boys?
(3) What are the steps we should take to initiate the process of helping our nephews and getting them out of that environment?
If you have any questions for me that may help you provide a better answer, please just let me know. I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read and respond!