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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    2

    Default Can I Get Custody of My Baby Sister

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Florida.
    Skip to bottom for question, sorry I felt the need to give a background on why I am asking this question. Hello, so Iím currently 16 and I am setting myself up to live on my own mainly because I am not happy living with my parents(dad and dads girlfriend). A little background: I love my dad but I donít agree with his decision and I absolutely hate his girlfriend. Sheís nice to me until you speak your mind and tell her something she doesnít want to hear. Letís just say sheís abusive to her own kids. Her middle child is suffering from mental and physical abuse and has been for years I'm talking since he was 5. I know I am wrong for not doing anything and every time I stand up for him she always starts arguing with me and my dad stands up for me and then we move out for 5 days or so and they make up over and over again. My dad is absolutely sick of her but heís not doing anything and Iím convinced he never will. Iíve threatened to call the cops on her. I donít really understand my dads situation but from what I heard he was suppose to ďprotect usĒ because of the whole situation with my birth mom. And long story short heís failed at that by dating his girlfriend. Okay on to my point... 3 years ago she gave birth to now my half sister. And I want to protect her at all costs. She has hit her and yells at her calling her names like stupid and other bs, things you should say to a three year old. I believe she has failed to provide her basic needs. Sheís still on a bottle, Iíve been the one to potty train her but Iím not home 24/7 so she Is struggling with that, she eats ramen noodles almost every day lunch and dinner because she has neglected her proper diet, for breakfast I give her eggs or cereal maybe fruit occasionally, but Iíve noticed when Iím at work or something she gives her a cereal bar. The problem is sheís to lazy and neglected to take care of her. She doesnít even have her own room and her mom puts her to bed at 12:00 pm every night. Again, long story short Iím concerned for her growth in the future, she(the kid) fights me on everything, I blame the mom. My dad is at work all day because she hasnít had a job since she met my dad. Not that thatís an excuse believe me but she doesnít let him have a say in her life for the first 2 years of her life the mom wouldnít let him take her anywhere without her. Oh not to mention, sheís an abusive drunk, I canít remember the last night she hasnít drank. Sheís not fit to be a parent. Iím with my little sister whenever Iím not at work or school. I bathe her(she takes showers with me), feed her, play with her, basically everything except put her to bed, but I have done that when we have sleepovers at my grandmas.

    Sorry, that was a lot. So right now, Iím working as a hostess during weekends and some week nights, babysit a few times a week getting paid $15 an hour for the school year, and I am dual enrolled for the next year. I am graduating after this school year, and I found a program I really like for Radiation Therapy in Delray Beach, fl. My dad supports everything I am doing so far. I have an appointment to get my drivers license on the 24 of August, and I am looking for a car.

    Iíve been thinking about what happens after I move. Iíve been waiting until I got myself settled on my own in case my dad lost me and my brother if I reported the girlfriend. My brother turned 18 this year, and I am leaving in the next year. Say I reported her, she might (hopefully) get the 3 yr old taken away from her( ok, I am truly afraid for her life not that she will kill her but that she will physically and mentally abuse her when she gets older. I came to this conclusion based on how she treats her older kids and how sheís treating the little one now at age 3), but Iím asking in case my dad does too.

    Question: Because I will only be 17 years old if I fought the courts could they place her in my custody if I am stable the time of? I was also thinking if I emancipated myself, that she could legally be in my custody. (I donít really know what Iím saying but I just want my little sister to not be thrown into foster care or something like that because I will bust my ass for her). This is a serious question because the mom needs to be stopped personally I think she deserves life in prison.
    Thank you to anybody who responds Iím just confused. And I know I am 100% in the wrong for not speaking up (see something say something), I hate myself for it but I need my little sister to grow up away from her, sheís never going to change

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,841

    Default Re: Can I Get Custody of My Baby Sister

    There's no way they are going to give custody to a minor. It matters not how mistreated the baby is. If they need to find an alternative placement, they'll look at anything else (foster care, etc...).

    All you can do is report the alleged abuse to the authorities and hope for the best. Understand that no matter how much you dislike the baby's mother, the fact that you are a half-sister GIVES YOU NOT RIGHTS WHATSOEVER either to custody or to "have a say" or otherwise be part of the baby's life.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,381

    Default Re: Can I Get Custody of My Baby Sister

    If you were older, and both of the child's parent were gone, then you might possibly have a chance for custody or kinship placement. However, you are not and as long as the child has living parents you have no say on anything. Your grandmother would have a far greater chance of getting kinship placement even if you were a little older.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,488

    Default Re: Can I Get Custody of My Baby Sister

    You cannot "emancipate yourself". In your state, your parents have to file the emancipation petition but even if they will, it will not be granted unless the judge is convinced that you have the means to pay every last cent of what it costs to support you (rent, utilities, food, clothing, insurance, medical care, transportation, school fees and supplies, and all the other necessities of life, alone and unassisted) while still going to school and getting better than average grades. If your dad allows you to move out, fine. But legal emancipation is not easily acquired.

    There is no possibility whatsoever, no matter what your circumstances, that you will be given custody of your sister.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Can I Get Custody of My Baby Sister

    Thank you guys for the responses! That makes me very sad, but for now I’m just going to document every little thing anyone in this house abusively does to both children and hopefully I have more to back up my story rather than audio recordings of the abuse. My mind likes to forget everything that happens when I go to explain to someone. Does anyone know what DCF needs to convict someone of child abuse? Because, I have a feeling since I didn’t tell anyone when it actually happens it won’t count against her. I do tell my grandma and my closest friend but that’s it, they really help me through it when I get angry so I don’t lash out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    3,201

    Default Re: Can I Get Custody of My Baby Sister

    Quote Quoting KileyDoug
    View Post
    Thank you guys for the responses! That makes me very sad, but for now I’m just going to document every little thing anyone in this house abusively does to both children and hopefully I have more to back up my story rather than audio recordings of the abuse. My mind likes to forget everything that happens when I go to explain to someone. Does anyone know what DCF needs to convict someone of child abuse? Because, I have a feeling since I didn’t tell anyone when it actually happens it won’t count against her. I do tell my grandma and my closest friend but that’s it, they really help me through it when I get angry so I don’t lash out.
    CPS is not going to take your word for how you say things are. CPS,may or may not agree with you that the child is being neglected and/or abused. Even if they find abuse and/or neglect. That does not mean they will remove the child.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,381

    Default Re: Can I Get Custody of My Baby Sister

    Quote Quoting KileyDoug
    View Post
    Thank you guys for the responses! That makes me very sad, but for now I’m just going to document every little thing anyone in this house abusively does to both children and hopefully I have more to back up my story rather than audio recordings of the abuse. My mind likes to forget everything that happens when I go to explain to someone. Does anyone know what DCF needs to convict someone of child abuse? Because, I have a feeling since I didn’t tell anyone when it actually happens it won’t count against her. I do tell my grandma and my closest friend but that’s it, they really help me through it when I get angry so I don’t lash out.
    The fact that you tell your grandma and that she doesn't act tends to indicate that the situation is not as bad as you believe that it is.

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