There are times when the parent is not parenting and it would be in the child’s best interest for them to be with another family member. If you believe that a relative child would benefit from you raising them, you can petition to become the caregiver. Although there are cases where you may not need to involve family law attorneys, consulting one is beneficial. Because family law attorneys are proficient in Florida law, they can both shorten the process and help ensure that you end up as the caregiver rather than releasing the children to the foster system.
Who Can File Temporary Custody to be a Relative Caregiver?
The first requirement is that you are either an adult or emancipated minor. The second is that you are a relative either by birth or marriage. This does include stepparents. The only exclusionary factor is that you cannot be involved in a civil or criminal case against the parent (including divorce).
This process is easiest when both parents agree that having a temporary caregiver is in the child’s best interest. They can provide a signed and notarized consent letter. Exceptions exist, however. For example, you would not need the signature of an incarcerated parent or one with terminated visitation.
If you do not believe you can get the agreement of the parents for temporary custody, you should contact the family law attorneys you trust about your case and seek professional intervention. If you believe the children are in immediate danger, contact your local police department and they will involve child services. You and the family law attorneys you hire can work on obtaining either temporary or permanent custody.
Can Temporary Custody Become Permanent?
Sadly, sometimes a family member realizes that the child’s parent has no intention of truly solving the problem that led to the request and granting of temporary custody. If you are in a situation where you believe that your temporary custody should be permanent, you will need the help of family law attorneys. Cases involving abuse including physical and drug abuse, mental or physical incapacitation, and financial instability are all reasons that you may want to petition for permanent custody.
Wagstaff Family Law Office has helped grandparents, siblings and other relatives obtain both temporary and permanent custody of children when the parents are not able or willing to take care of their child. We can help you understand the process and help you make a decision in the best interest of the minor child or children. Call (727) 584-8182 to set up your no-obligation initial consultation.