Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Good morning,

My sister-in-law has custody of her 2 children and is going to leave Oklahoma to come and live with us so that we can help her get on her feet while taking care of the children in our stable environment. She has had no job after a car accident 2 years ago and has a protection order out against her ex for abuse, who also has no job. My husband and I have a stable home in Hampton, but no extra income for legal resources at this time. I simply need to know if she has custody, is she allowed to give my husband and me guardianship of the children by filling out the form and filing it with the circuit court, or do we have to have the biological father's signature, as well? Can this happen when she gets to Virginia or does she have to do it in Oklahoma?

I am writing to you because she has been abused and will be living here soon, I just needed to know how to best prepare for her children. I am scared we will be ill prepared and then they won't be able to be on my insurance and in school with my children. I do not want any assistance from the city or state for their care, I simply need to know the law for helping them, myself.

Asked on 1/25/12, 8:39 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Michael E. Hendrickson Attorney & Counsellor at Law
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If your sister-in-law and her children establish a valid Virginia residence with you

there would be no reason for you to be petitioning the circuit court for guardianship of these children. (The foregoing assumes this mother has no physical and/or mental impairments which would preclude her from carrying out her parenting tasks/duties in a reasonably acceptable manner,)

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1/26/12, 8:26 am

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