Temporary Custody Lawyer Serving Palm Coast, Port Orange, and Ormond Beach
Parents leave their children with a family member for extended periods of time, for many reasons. Homelessness, serious mental health and substance abuse issues, or incarceration may leave a parent unable to care for a child. Often, parents will provide that family member with a signed and notarized letter giving them ‘legal authority’ to act on behalf of the child. Unfortunately, for most purposes, this is not sufficient.
Florida Law provides for Temporary (take the place of the parent) or Concurrent (step in alongside the parent) Custody to be granted to an extended family member. Such an action leads to an order granting all legal authority over the child to that family member. It may also provide for contact/visitation with the parents(s), and child support. When the parent is has enough self-awareness regarding their situation, they can execute a consent to the entry of such an order.
Without Consent – Burden of Proof
Unfortunately, a parent may lack such self-awareness, and the family member must take action on their own. In such a case, the family member must prove to the court that the parent(s) are legally unfit to care for the child. A history of, or imminent threat of abuse, neglect, or abandonment must be shown for an order of Temporary Custody to be entered without the parents’ consent. The family member becomes a person acting as a parent for all legal purposes.
An order for Temporary Custody is not a Termination of Parental Rights. Whether done by consent or after a final hearing, a parent can regain custody of their child by making a showing of fitness to the court, if not agreed to by the temporary custodian. The parent must show that the conditions which led to the temporary custody no longer exist – that they have rehabilitated themselves, are clean/sober, are stable in residence and employment, and that the child is no longer in danger of abuse, neglect, or abandonment by being with them. An order of Concurrent custody can be terminated by agreement of the parties, or a finding by the court that the parent objects, or has withdrawn their consent, to the order.
Attorney Muriello has represented clients on both sides of these cases, protecting children and helping parents regain custody. He understands the burdens and hurdles each face. He will assess the facts of your case, help plan an appropriate course of action, and represent the best interests of the child at all times.
Temporary Custody Attorney Serving Flagler and Volusia Counties
To discuss a temporary custody matter with an experienced lawyer in Daytona Beach, Florida, call 386-872-4909 or fill out our contact form today.