I need to file for custody for my granddaughter who lives with me, what form do I use? I cannot get anyone to give me a straight answer on this.
2 Answers from Attorneys
I just received your question regarding a request for custody forms. The reason you are not getting a "straight" answer is because it is quite likely this could be a very difficult issue to address, and because there is no single "form" that is used for this purpose. One of the great misconceptions about family law is that most issues are addressed by filling in the proper form and then filing the form with the court. Forms, alone, are relatively meaningless. The question is not whether or not there is some form available to you, but whether or not you can make out a claim for custody within the law, and that depends on a wide variety of facts that cannot simply be summarized in a form filed with the court. How long has the child lived in Minnesota, or with you? Has there been a divorce, or a prior custody proceeding, and if so, who has custody? Why do you have this child in your custody? Will anyone object to your request for custody? Who would that be and why might they object? Once again, it is not that you cannot get a straight answer, but that without a great many additional facts, no lawyer can competently, or reasonably, provide you with any meaningful information about how to proceed, and because custody cases are often highly contentious and time consuming, many lawyers will not be inclined to provide any advice without being properly retained and paid for their advice.
You would be seeking third party custody. There are no forms I know of for this purpose. As a result, you would have to draft, serve and file a Summons and Petition for third party custody. That is not a simple task for a non-lawyer i am afraid.