Q: My granddaughter lives with me . I have sole and full custody of her under Article 6. Her father is deceased and her mother’s rights were taken away due to a mental illness but the mother still has visitation which I have complete control over and she pays child support to me. My granddaughter is trying to get financial aid for college and although she lives with me and I make all decisions regarding everything with her. Her mother is unemployed and supports her with money she got on welfare. The college is saying that my having legal and sole custody is not enough for her to get financial aid that they need a form stating that I am her legal guardian. According to my custody agreement I have complete and total control over my granddaughter and I am her legal guardian so I am not understanding why this would not be counted. Please explain what I should do.
A: David’s Answer: “Guardianship” of a minor child, and custody of a minor child, are nearly indistinguishable under New York law. For purposes of financial aid, “custody” should be deemed the same thing. Perhaps a letter form an attorney clarifying matters may help. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney for more info.