Temporary Relative Custody in Florida
Florida law recognizes that there are certain times when a child may be better off temporarily living with someone other than the child’s parents. The specific Florida Statute that addresses this issue is located in Chapter 751 and is titled “Temporary Custody of Minor Children by Extended Family”. The main purpose of this statute is to allow an extended family member (a relative of the child within the third degree by blood or marriage) to temporarily or concurrently have official custody over the child, typically for purposes of having the child placed on insurance, enrolling the child in school, or other functions. If a relative is granted temporary custody by the Judge, that order would then allow them to communicate directly with the child’s school, doctors, and other people of interest.
If temporary custody is being requested by a relative, the biological parents must either consent, or the Court must make a finding that the parents have abused, abandoned, or neglected the child. Reasonable notice must be given to the parents of the child involved in any action brought under this statute, in the event that either parent wishes to contest the action.
The Judge will always look at the best interests of the child when deciding whether or not to grant temporary custody to a relative. An analysis of the child’s best interests is very fact-intensive, and it is always recommended that any person pursuing temporary custody of a child consult with an experienced family law attorney. Jon Lorimier, an attorney with Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A., has handled many issues such as this in the past; if you would like a consult with him to discuss your case in more detail, please call (904) 777-7777 to set a free consultation.