1. What is your relationship with the child ? Are you the deceased husbands brother ?
2. Why doesnt the child want to live with the biological mother ?
3. You state, "..child wants to live with you.". How did the bond between you and the child develop so much that the child doesnt want the mother ? ( sounds strange)
4. How many years back did the event of the fathers loss take place and how many years were you bonded with the child ? Are you willing to take responsibility for the childs education and welfare until he is legally and adult ? ( 18 years of school fees, clothes, food, recreation, medical)
5. Are you expressing that you want to play the role of a guardian to the child in the absence of the father ?
6. How do you see the child benefiting by living with you but not with the mother.
7. Do you want the child to have equal access to you and the mother ?
8. Are you married ? Do you have your own children ? What is your experience/background with child development ? Do you have any criminal record ? Do you have a job or income ? Is that income enough to feed your current family and this additional child ? Will you be deprieving someone else for the sake of this child ?
9. Do you have any formal visitation rights ? Are you asking for visitiation with your nephew/neice ?
10. What is the current state of the childs health and development ? Is the child doing well in school ?
* You may have to do some introspection on the above lines and form a story how your involvement will help the child development.
* Second, please refer to the two research publications that I have attached. The document custody and access is a document that the Superior Court of California, USA recommends parents to read before fighting over custody. They urge the litigating parents to attempt develop a "individual parenting plan" for their child so the child can develop and maintain relationship with both parents. Read the document and try to see the benefits if you take the approach described in the document and take an approach where you are not laying claims on custody but come about as a guardian who is working with the other parent in the best interest of the child.
* If the child is a girl child, then research shows that girl child needs a father figure and there are several development related challenges a girl child will run into if she is missing a father or father figure in her life. Read the second research document that I have attached called " Divorced fathers and their daughters". ( I have obtained the authors written permission in reproducing it)
- Look at the situation with a vee bit sympathy towards your SIL. She is already traumatised with the loss of her husband. This court case and her involvement with this legal nonsense is only going to take her involvement with the child away and dilute the quality of parenting.
- Not knowing the bigger picture and dynamics of the family, I think, it may help if the widow re-marries and the child gets a loving step-father. You can remain the Paternal Uncle and continue to love your nephew / neice.
- For some time, pull back from the child and SIL. Provide remote support to the family and child. Grocery, child pick up, school activities, enroll child into music,e painting, help with homework. Plan the next school vacation for the child with the mothers involvement - make the mother feel that your family is a valuable resource.
- You and your familys actions, litigative moves may impact the child in ways that you cannot fathom today. Child brought up in high conflict families can turn our to be disturbed, confused adults.
- Develop a strategy where the child benefits from all angles.
- Get a child psychologist involved with whom you communicate the situation.
Not authorised to provide legal analysis.
Krishna is an aggrieved Paternal Uncle of a minor child who is asking for visitation with his minor nephew/neice.