Kaze-chan (kazeko_sama) wrote in little_details,

Can anyone help me with a legal situation?

My story's modern-day America, and my problem pops up in the first paragraphs - it opens with a custody hearing. I've been trying to find information on them online, but the only references are about deciding between two parents who are getting divorced. The situation I have is somewhat different: both the parents died in a car wreck, and the godparent of the fifteen-year-old in question is an uncle who's somewhat of a lazy slob, can't hold down a permanant job, and isn't reliable at anything, so the older brother of the fifteen-year-old (twenty-three or so, reliable job with a steady income) is suing for custody. I need the brothers to live together for the story to work, and I found in a few places online that if the minor in question is over about thirteen or so, they can tell the judge who they want to live with, and usually the judge grants the preferred caretaker custody. The younger brother would prefer his older brother, and he's gonna say so.

The problems I have are I don't know if this is too much of a stretch - would a judge go for age since the older brother is pretty young to be raising a teenager? - and I don't really know how to portray a custody hearing, seeing as the only court I've ever sat in on was minor drug violations court to do a school assignment. Can anyone help me?
Tags: ~custody & social services

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