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    Speak Up! - View Question #130


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    Question: Can my eldest biological sister in Utah sue for custody of me?

    Answer:

    This answer is based on Arizona law, assuming that your biological sister is a legal adult.

     

    In Arizona, the law does provide for a request for custody of a child by a non-parent. It makes it hard to do because the law must be concerned with 'the best interests of the child', and Arizona believes that usually this is to be with the parents. In Arizona, the person filing a request for custody ('petition') has to state in the request that:

    -they have been taking care of the child (stands 'in loco parentis'),

    -it would be bad for the child to stay with either of the parents,

    -no order regarding custody has been made in the last year, and

    -either one of the parents are dead or the parents are not married or are getting a divorce.

    'In loco parentis' means a person who has been treated as a parent by the child and who has formed a meaningful parental relationship with the child for a substantial period of time.

    'Legal parent' means a biological or adoptive parent whose parental rights have not been terminated.

    Your parents can let you live with your sister and can give her a temporary guardianship of you.

    If you are not living in Arizona, you can call your state bar association to find out where you can get information on the answer to this question in that state.


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