I want to take custody of my niece but I'm not sure where to turn. She is three years old and has already lived through more stuff than I have. My brother is in a bad situation and she is not being taken care of. I would like to approach him with this but I want to know the facts first. I also know the mother would have no problem signing over any rights that she has.
A little background about me... Im 26yrs old, single, with no kids. I've had a steady job for almost five years now and have also worked a second job for almost a year. I graduated last year with my associates in business science.

Would I have to pay for a lawyer?
Would I be able to get financial assistance for her?
Is it possible to get temporary custody and get assistance or would I have to go to court to get full custody?
Who would I need to talk to first?

If anybody has any information on where I should I turn it would be greatly appreciated. I can't sit by and watch her go through this anymore.