A hot topic these days is Child Custody by Extended Families.
The parents may have a drug problem, or they may be in jail. Parents also ask extended families to help out while he or she is in college, or the military. In all of these circumstances, it’s good to know when and whether you can seek custody as a family member.
Florida has a statute specifically on point. It is called Temporary Custody by Extended Family. And it provides a way for family members to obtain temporary custody. Parents can consent to the custody order. Or family members can seek custody if the parent is unfit. This usually means the parent cannot care for the child, or has abandoned the child.
Persons seeking temporary custody must be closely related to the parent, such as an aunt, grandparent, or sibling. In addition, the child must have lived with the petitioner for at least 10 out of the last 30 days.
The Petition must contain certain details. This includes the name, date of birth, and address of the child. It also must include the names and addresses of the parents. Of course, you need to give a detailed reason(s) for seeking temporary custody as a family member.
Florida law also provides for a family member to have concurrent custody. This means a family member is awarded custodial rights to care for a child along with the parent(s). If you seek concurrent custody, you must explain what actions you cannot undertake without a court order.
We see and handle many cases which involve temporary custody. Often, they start with the parent’s consent. It may start as something which is temporary. But the parents learn to rely on family members too much. In other cases, the parents simply cannot get their act together. If time passes, the family member caring for the child may consider adopting the child.
We have handled many grandparent adoptions, also, and will be happy to meet to discuss your case.