I'm not sure where to post this or how to ask it. I'm wondering how strong a case has to be to get custody of a sibling. My 12 year old brother lives with me and has for 6 months. He sees his mom on weekends. He lived in a different country for his whole life, last year my mom, with a week's notice, decided to move here, have him live with us "short term" and cut off his father. She is looking for work right now, but not willing to take anything "below her" level of upper management. She lives in her parents house (a mansion that they have left vacated for the winter...not bad). She won't move to our house as it's "not up to her standards"...it has the normal level of messiness from a 2-year old and a 12-year old. My husband and I do not receive financial support from her (well, she buys him some cereal and snacks)
But...she's not obviously abusive. She doesn't do drugs, or hit him, she just won't really step up. His life is a history of unpredictability....he has switched schools every 1-2 years, moved every 1-2 years, been put on countless meds for ADHD/ODD, she travels with work and leaves him with sitters. But he always has clothes, video games, food, etc. So, I feel like to outsiders she looks fine. He fights with her constantly, and every interaction I've seen is negative. She got on the poor kid over his recent report card...I don't know how he managed to pass given his crazy situation, but he got largely Bs and Cs and a couple As and a couple Ds. I am trying to support him emotionally and thought it best to let the report card go at the moment.
So, I feel I don't have a case for actual custody, but I don't know what to do. I do know I'm at my wit's end with all of this! I also don't know if it's just a big mismatch in my mom's style with my own that makes it seem worse to me? I really strive for GD (I'm not perfect) but she thinks natural consequences are ridiculous and that we need rewards and punishments and to really be on him all the time!
Does a custody case have to rest on substance abuse or abuse/neglect of the child?