As a member of a child’s extended family, Pinellas County does allow for temporary custody measures to be taken in certain cases when the child’s wellbeing is at stake. In Florida, child custody laws do make some provisions for extended family to gain temporary custody. Here are some factors that influence this and considerations you will want to keep in mind.
There Must Be a Familial Relationship
Extended family members including aunts, uncles, grandparents and more may qualify to request temporary custody because of the familial relationship. Family members that the Florida statute for temporary custody by extended family allows to seek temporary custody include:
- Aunts and uncles
- First cousins
Notably, a stepparent does not automatically qualify as a family member who can request temporary custody. If the stepparent is currently married and not involved in any case (including divorce) against the biological parents, then they may be considered.
Of course, even if you are considered a family member, there are some other qualifications you must have before requesting custody. First, you must be a legal adult over the age of eighteen. Next, you must be able to prove you have a stable home. You must also have the means to provide for the child during their time in the home. Lastly, there must be space in your home for each child to have their own bed.
How to Gain Temporary Custody
Child custody laws in Florida can be complex. If you would like to gain temporary custody of a minor child to whom you are related, we recommend working with an experienced family law attorney. We know the law and can file the appropriate paperwork so that the process moves through the court system as efficiently as possible.
To move forward, whether or not you choose to work with a family law attorney, you will need to gather information required for the petition. This includes the child or children’s complete legal names, dates of birth, and current address(es). You will also need their parents’ legal names. It will help if you have other information including any child support orders and any other legal filings against the biological parents. The petition will also include your personal information as well as a timeframe for the temporary custody order. Although it is not always required, if you can get consent from both (or even one) parent, your case will be stronger.
Wagstaff & Pitelis, P.A. Can Help
As family law attorneys, we can help you with your petition for temporary custody of a relative child. We know the complexities of child custody laws in Florida. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 to schedule your consultation.