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Nathan Held

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Q. In Oregon if I have physical custody of My nephew and I file guardianship papers who does he stay with until court?
A: You seem to have a few questions. First, what are your rights as your nephew's aunt? You don't have any rights relating to your nephew, with exceptions that are not relevant here. Second, where will your nephew stay until the court date? Your nephew will stay where his parents allow him to stay. Unless you nephew's custody was changed by a court in a custody or guardianship judgment, his parents both retain custody until the court has determined the person it is in his best interest to stay with. If your nephew's parents let you take care of your nephew, keep him in your home, provide for him, etc., then you have physical custody until they revoke it. Filing for guardianship is a way for you to gain legal as well as physical custody over your nephew. This will be much easier to do if you can get the consent of one or both of your nephew's parents. If both parents consent to you being the guardian of their child, you should have few issues getting guardianship. But if either of your nephew's parent's challenge your petition for guardianship within 30 days of being served with notice, then you will have to show a judge how it is in the best interest of your nephew that he stay with you. Judges prefer that children stay with parents, but if they find that it is in the child's best interest not to live with their parents, they might award custody to another person.
Q. Do I need a lawyre to ask for child support?
A: No, you do not need a lawyer to ask for child support. You can submit your own "petition for custody and support" in an Oregon circuit court where the child is located. Most courts' webpages should have printable forms for submitting to the court and the fee should be $0. But a lawyer can help you navigate the process that can be complicated and may require presentation of evidence and testimony in court in front of a judge if the other parent challenges your petition for custody and support. It is your decision to retain a lawyer or not depending on your needs and ability to pay for one.
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