No, she DOES NOT have greater standing. They are BOTH legal strangers. This isn't a foster placement or a dependency case, L. They stand equal according to the law in both OK and Texas (not that Texas matters in this instance).
You are basically telling the OP that he and his family should not even try, and I am trying to understand why. This woman, who has no legal or biological ties to the child has taken off with her and is hiding her from her biological family.
This mother figure was such a bad influence and did drugs in front of Auntie and yet auntie allowed it to happen in her home? She is no better.
Nope. Did not tell the OP not to bother. What I AM trying to get across is that blood alone may not be enough to keep this child "in the family". The Aunt may be successful - she may not. The OP on the other hand? Thankfully the courts in OK have recognized that ripping a child away from the only home she has ever really known to place her with a relative she doesn't know is NOT in the child's best interest.
I do find the timing odd, admittedly.
1. I bet dollars to donuts that the child is eligible for dependent benefits...and that can be an awfully big motivator. Funny, that.
2. If Girlfriend was SO bad, and using drugs all of this time, why has that never bothered the "caring relatives" before now?
There is even a poster "down the street" who took us step by step through his own custody battle for his stepchild - which he won.
I know you have strong feelings about third party custody matters. But I'm not about to give this OP false hope. Again, this is less about blood than it is about the child's best interest; the Aunt AND the girlfriend are viewed as equal interested parties - blood is completely irrelevant in this case, in this State.
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Yeap. Or are we expected to believe that Daddy was such a strong character that Girlfriend never once did drugs in his presence when he was alive?
The tragic thing here is that this little girl has lost her only legal parent. And now there are relatives coming out of the woodwork to try and remove her from her HOME.
I also know of a couple of stepparents who have successfully won custody of their stepchildren...but they were STEPPARENTS. I have also seen some epically fail. This woman isn't even the child's stepparent, and its equally possible that SHE is the one motivated by the Social Security Benefits.
Oh heck yeah - I'm not disputing that for a second. By the same token though, she HAS been on the scene for a long time before Dad's death.
All in all, this is a painful situation and nobody is going to "win". Not least the little girl.
And yes - if I came across testy I do apologize, and sincerely at that.
As a side note, the case I'm referring to in OK was around the same time as uh..how can I put this...you remember that guy from FL and WI who messed up his case so much that he uh..well, visitation is currently suspended pending a psych eval and the GAL in the case had to obtain a RO lasting until 2017 against the guy...you know who I mean, right? Well, it was around the same time as he started posting down the street.
If that wasn't crystal clear
1. I bet dollars to donuts that the child is eligible for dependent benefits...and that can be an awfully big motivator. Funny, that. Motivator for whom? My husband and I are already established. It doesn't matter if my aunt, her grandfather or I get custody I just want to have some contact with my niece. I'm not sure why that's so hard for you to grasp!
2. If Girlfriend was SO bad, and using drugs all of this time, why has that never bothered the "caring relatives" before now? Where are you getting this never bothered anyone? Again, my brother was around and at least we had contact with my niece and was able to help when things went to the left. Now we have nothing!
"Yeap. Or are we expected to believe that Daddy was such a strong character that Girlfriend never once did drugs in his presence when he was alive?" No one said the father was a saint. In fact I believe he and the girlfriend both share equal blame in providing for my niece. You might not be aware, but it's truly hard to get custody of a child while the parent is still living. My aunt asked my brother a year ago if my niece could live with her. He would let her stay for maybe 2 weeks and come back and get her. There's not much you can do when the biological parent is involved.
I can now see that this could go either way, but she's definitely worth fighting for.
Either way I would like to thank everyone for responding.I really appreciate the feedback.
But there's the crux of it. You're attempting to use drug use against the girlfriend - yet y'all were absolutely fine when you were able to see the child.
Do you not see how that looks to a court?
Nobody did a darned thing until brother died. Nobody apparently gave enough of a hoot to actually take action.
And for the record, we grasp things most perfectly. Apparently moreso than your family, in terms of the legalities.