Can Non-Parents Gain Custody of Children?

boy w bear.jpgAt times it might be necessary for someone who is a non-parent to gain custody of a minor child. This may be the situation where a remarried custodial parent dies and the stepparent has acted, for all intents and purposes, as the child’s only other parent. Or perhaps the same remarried custodial parent becomes incapacitated and his or her children now require care. What options do you have? Florida allows something called temporary custody by extended family for situations such as this.

There are some specifics to how such temporary custody can be attained. The person attempting to gain custody must be an extended family member of the child. The Florida statutes define extended family as grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters and possibly even stepparents to claim temporary custody of a child. After an application for custody is filed, the court will conduct an evidentiary hearing. But before the court can make any decision, all of the child’s remaining parents must be given notice and an opportunity to be heard. The court must first determine the fitness of that parent because natural parents do have a fundamental liberty interest in their children’s care. But, if the court does find that parent unfit to provide for the care and control of a child, the court may grant the custody to the non-parent, all other things appropriate.

Keep in mind that the facts behind these situations are very operative, and each set of facts could bring a different result. But if you are in need of nonparent, temporary custody, the best thing to do is contact an experienced Jacksonville Family Law Attorney. You can reach a Jacksonville Family Law Lawyer, at (904) 685-1200 to discuss your case and the options available to you. The consultation may even come at no cost. Contact a Jacksonville Family Law Attorney today.

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