Florida Procedures For Custody of a Minor Child by an Extended Family Member
Unfortunately, there are many times when neither parent can care for their minor child. Reasons are numerous and can include death, ill health, mental problems resulting in abuse, drug addiction resulting in abuse and neglect, desertion, and incarnation. Sadly, the numbers of these children being cared for by a family member, most often grandparents, is in the millions. Studies showed in 2018, there were 2,733 000 minor children living with family members other than their parents. Each state has its own set of guidelines and requirements for the legal ordering of custody for minor children, which can be found in the state’s Statutes. The following points are a summary of the Florida statutes on Custody of a Minor by Extended Family Member, effective 7/2020:
- The determination as to the relationship or the person(s) seeking custody to the minor must be established.
- Under specific guidelines, a concurrent custody arrangement can be ordered. This arrangement permits the parent(s) and the person(s) seeking custody to co-parent the minor.
- Those seeking custody must present the desired time frame for the custody and proof as to why the time frame is chosen.
- The person(s) seeking custody must have physical custody of the minor child at present or have had, in the last 12 months had at least 10 days of physical custody in any 30 day period.
- Have no signed written agreement from a parent, which could adequately allow the custodian to meet all the needs necessary to care for the child.
- Provide substantial proof as to why the parent(s) can no longer adequately care for the minor child.
- Provide substantial proof that the person(s) seeking custody are fit to do so and that they are able to provide what is in the best interests of the child. Florida’s courts are adamant that minor children are provided care and nurturing in the child’s best interest.
- Provide a reasonable plan for transitioning custody.
It is important to understand that any order granted, unless so deemed necessary by proven circumstances, will not dimmish or eliminate the custodial rights of parents. Following the order for giving custody of a minor child to a family member other than a parent, either parent may petition the court to modify or terminate that order. Using the advice and representation of a Family Law Lawyer is essential to the best outcome for parents as well as family members desiring custody or custody modification. If you live in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough County in Florida or New York or Washington DC, Attorney Grant Gisondo has over a decade of experience in Family Law and can help. He offers a free, initial, in-office consultation where he can answer questions regarding custody of a minor by an extended family member and share how he can help. You can call (561) 530-4568 to make an appointment. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM and, for new clients, on Saturday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.