Sometimes moms or dads (or both) may have issues that leave them unable to provide a stable environment for their children. If you are a parent who needs some help to get back on your feet or if you are a relative to minor children who are not being properly cared for, temporary custody may be a solution.
What is Temporary Custody?
As defined in Chapter 751 of the Florida Statutes, temporary custody grants protection of a minor to an extended family member. This allows the temporary guardian the rights of a parent. With temporary custody comes the ability to consent to medical treatment. It also allows the guardian to enroll a child in school and take care of other general welfare needs. It does not permanently change or remove the rights of the parents.
In temporary custody situations, although almost any close relative can step in, ideally that relative would be someone with whom the child already has a relationship. A step-parent is only eligible if they are married to a parent of the child and not involved in any legal matters against either parent.
Child custody is a serious matter. A parent cannot simply sign a permission slip allowing someone to care for the child. Proper custody filings, temporary or otherwise, go through the court system. Most often this is done with the help of a family law attorney.
You will need to take one of two approaches for temporary custody. If the child’s parent acknowledges they need help, they may grant permission. Although you may think that permission for you to care for the child is sufficient, it is not. You still need to go through the court system to make it official. Your attorney can advise you as to the necessary paperwork. They may also advise you regarding whether or not you should request the child support payments currently ordered.
Conflicting opinions—such as when you feel the child needs a different environment and the parent or parents do not agree—may result in a different scenario. If the child’s welfare is in question, there may be reason to intervene and petition for temporary custody. This may happen in cases of drug use, homelessness or abuse, for example.
Contact Your Family Law Attorney
If you need help with temporary custody, contact Wagstaff Family Law. As local family law attorneys, we have helped families with all types of custody issues. We are happy to answer your questions and help you take care of next steps to protect the welfare of the minor children in your life. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form.