My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Illinois
I have two half siblings who are preschool age. Their father has not seen them since an order of protection was taken out over two years ago on behalf of myself, my mother, and my two siblings. The order of protection was allowed to lapse several months later. He has failed to prove paternity or pursue any sort of formal or informal visitation, however his name is on both birth certificates. He has previously failed to pay child support and is currently unemployed. He has several DUI's and was fired from a a previous job due to allegations of inappropriate touching of a child in the facility he worked. Child support has not been pursued on by my mother because she does not want paternity proven for the reasons previously stated.
I am in my early 20's, live with my mother while attending school, and provide care to both children when my mother is at work (40-50 hours per week). I have done so since he left. In the hopefully unlikely event that my mother is unable to care for the children, what rights would I or another relative have to pursue temporary or permanent custody? I understand that my state, like most, defaults to the rights of the parents. I am unsure if he would pursue custody, but for the sake of argument I am assuming he would. What, if any, legal documents that my mother could prepare to demonstrate her wishes in the event that she was unable to state them? Is it feasible for parental rights be terminated in a situation such as this, if my mother chose to pursue that option?
Thank-you for your time, I hope my question was clear enough.