Termination of Parental Rights in Florida

The Department of Children and Families are considering terminating the parental rights of a Brevard County couple whom were arrested in March of this year on three counts of aggravated child abuse. The couple, Michael Marshall and Sharon Glass, reportedly admitted to locking up a 13 year old boy in a bathroom and withholding food and care as a form of punishment. When the boy was found he weighed a startling 40 pounds. Responding police reportedly stated the boy looked as though he was an inmate in a concentration camp.

It is believed that three children were found in Marshall’s and Glass’s home. The boy and his 11 year old sister are Marshall’s children, whereas a third child, a boy, is Glass’s. Marshall’s two children are now in foster care and Glass’s child is with his father. Caseworker’s are reporting that if the Department succeeds and has the parental rights of the couple terminated then Marshall’s children could be adopted by another family.

As an Orange Park Family Law Attorney I turn to Florida Statute 39.806 when dealing with sad cases like that described above. This Statute covers the Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights, which range from mutual consent by the parties to abuse, neglect and abandonment. However, this Statute not only specifies what are grounds for termination of parental rights but also specifies circumstances which do not establish grounds for termination of parental rights.

Circumstances that do not establish grounds for terminating parental rights include: mental illness or deficiency, alcohol or drug induced incapacity, failure to maintain contact, failure to provide support and/or failure to establish paternity.

Curious about issues relating to you and your children? Contact an Orange Park Family Law Attorney today.

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