Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“A friend of mine recently met his daughter for the first time, he did not know that she existed until she found him, she is 13 years old. She is currently living with her grandfather on her mother’s side. Her mother died a few years ago. My friend would really like custody of his daughter. What would be the best course of action to getting custody of his daughter? They both live in California.”
Your friend can file either for a guardianship or adoption of his daughter. This is a highly complicated area of law that could lead to extensive litigation if there is a dispute. The easiest and safest way to go about that is to contact a California lawyer who practices in family law and adoption law. If finances are a concern, your friend can contact a local Bar Association and ask for the contact information for a pro bono family law attorney, who will work either for free or at a graduated pay schedule according to what your friend can afford.