I am currently a single parent that has had physical custody of the child for about 2 years.
By court order we have split parental responsibility.
The other parent has the right to see the child as long as it is in my house every day of the week if they feel.
the past year the other parent has seen the child about 4 times.
parent has not seen the child for the last 11 months.
The other parent
contacts the child about 2-3 times a week.
After reading the definition
of abandonment by Florida Statutes Chapter 39.01:
'Abandoned' or 'abandonment' means a situation in which the parent
or legal custodian of a child, in the absence of a parent or legal
custodian, the caregiver, while being able makes no provision for the
child's support and has failed to establish or maintain a substantial
and positive relationship" includes but is no limited to, frequent and
regular contact with the child through frequent and regular visitation
or frequent and regular communication to or with the child and the
exercise of parental rights and responsibilities.
Due to my situation does this fit the definition?
Answer to Child Custody Question
Dear Single Parent,
Your ex may have abandoned your
child according to Florida's definition for child abandonment, if he has
more than just shared parental responsibility "in the absence of
another parent or custodian."
And if this is the case, from what I gather from your question, it looks as if you certainly believe this is true.
then again, contact "2-3 times a week", by some standards may very well
be considered as "frequent contact", so your situation may not be
considered as abandonment at all.
My first question is, why do you want to know whether
your child has been abandoned?
And more importantly, how does knowing
that the other parent has abandoned the child benefit your child in any
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to force
someone to visit their child.
Some parents are not good at being
parents, but they are still parents and as such are guaranteed certain
Proving abandonment in your case may be very difficult to
do as this looks like a border-line case solely going by your
description of the current situation.
And what are you trying to get the
court to do by proving child abandonment?
child's name changed?
Get sole custody and decision making authority?
Bottom line is, I don't think this fits the definition of child abandonment.
It's more like poor parenting on your ex's part.
Child Abandonment by: Anonymous
I have read the information (above) where someone else had asked
about Child Abandonment. My husbands situation is different.
have split custody and he pays child support to the children's mother.
She moved to Houston Texas the end of July and has left the children
with us. She was calling the kids on a regular basis.
We have a
court order to pay child support which we continue to pay so he doesn't
get in trouble. We have tried to get the custody modified but with
that we have to have her served with documentation dealing with the
That did not work because she will not provide us with an
address and when she did we googled it and it was fake. She has not
tried to contact the children since the first of the month.
been gone long enough for my husband to file Child Abandonment? Also
what paperwork do we need to file it?
We also found out that she has a warrant for her arrest here in Florida which might be why she is not
giving us her address. Is there a way to by pass the searching for her
because of this and if so is there paperwork for that?
I know in most
cases you have to put something in a local paper of where you think they
are stating that you are looking for them and its for 30 or 60 days
that you have to do this. We are tired of paying child support to her
when these funds can be used on the children.
understanding is that the court is limited in what it can do if you use
constructive service to serve her. You really need to speak to a lawyer
about this. --Staff
Best Interests Abandonment? by: adirolf
I have provided food, clothing, shelter and 24/7 nurture for a
grandchild, 30%, 75%, 65% of the first 3 years (food,clothing and
financial support even when not residing with me) and 100% of everything
for the past 18 months.
Contact with the birth mother is well intended
but she still can not provide support herself at any level. The birth
father has never cared for the child, says that he does not intend to
but wants to see her at his convenience.
Child support was paid
briefly by him through unemployment benefits and may resume with future
The best advice a Sumter County lawyer can give me is that
the parents have provided for the best interests of the child by leaving
her in my care and to let things continue as they are.
I can't claim
abuse or neglect because I have prevented it. The case will seriously
impact my finances and likely not change the status quo.
from the father to pick her up and disappear keep the mother in a
panic. We would like to plan for retirement, down size, move---as
retirees or "older parents" it makes quite a difference in our choices.
The child is thriving, allergies maintained, loving school, secure,
friendly and understands she is loved by all. The birth mother is open
to permanent guardianship after realizing that kinship guardianship can
be revoked by someone who still after over 5 years can't get it together
We don't wish to condemn either parent but easily
could. We want a stable situation for the child that will allow us to
stop being uncertain as to whether a knock at the door will rip her life
The birth mother feels that the security of us having permanent
guardianship may help her move out of this drama and into carving out
her life and a future one for a healthy daughter. Is there a viable,
affordable and successful solution out there?
--So sad. Have
a look at our temporary custody and grandparent adoption pages to see
if these may be viable for your situation...
My step daughters mother has not seen or called her in years.
We don't even have an address or phone number for her.
We would like to
file for abandonment and step parent adoption. We don't have the money
for a lawyer.
Anyone know what paperwork we will need and the cost to
file in fl?
--This sounds like an ideal case for a stepparent adoption with an involuntary termination of parental rights because of abandonment. See our Stepparent Adoption page for the forms and more information. --Staff
Can we file for abandonment? by: Danielle C.
My situation is a mess. I have my son Child C. There has never
been a custody order as we were never married. Child C is 9 and the
father has not seen or called my son in 4 years.
He doesn't pay his
child support regularly. He is trying to stop or lower the payments. I
have asked for him to let my husband adopt child C. he refuses but wants
nothing to do with him.
I along with my husband and child C
want his name changed to match my husband who he knows as daddy. Can I
file abandonment on him?
I also have to other kids Child K 8 year old
female and Child A 7 year old male. Child A and K have the same mom she
does not contact them regularly.
The last time was 2 months ago. She
lost custody 5 years ago and has court ordered supervised contact. Never
Can we file abandonment on her? Child A has a
separate dad who has not been in contact in 4 years. Seldom pays support
and gets arrested regularly. Can we file for him as well?
We want to
adopt Child A so he forever knows he has a place even if mom and dad
never step up?
--Very complicated situation. You have two or three separate filings in your case. Again, if the other parent is not willing to voluntarily give up their parental rights, it will be very difficult to do this without a lawyer. --Staff
Step Parent Adoption by: momoftwo
I left my ex husband after he beat our son. My two children and I
lived in a safe house while he was let out of jail, because it was his
first offense and he was signed out by his commanding officer in the
There was an emergency retraining order and a temporary
restraining order put out, but before I could make it permanent, the
children and I left the state so that I could accept a full time job. In
the mean time, our divorce went through. He did not show up to any of
the mediation or court hearings.
The judge granted me sole custody and
he could have supervised visitation at my discretion, due to the abuse.
He since moved to the same state the children and I live in.
and I set up a schedule for him to call and see the children. Despite
the schedule, he hasn't seen the children for 9 months, hasn't paid the
court ordered child support for 15 months and has called 5 times in 6
I am now engaged. My fiance would like to adopt the
children, and while we know that we have to be married for a year before
he can file, we don't know if this continues, if it would qualify as
abandonment by my ex husband.
--It is possible that a court could rule in favor of an involuntary termination of parental rights of the biological father and grant a stepparent adoption. However, this will be very difficult to do in your situation, especially if your ex contests the action. I would not recommend that you file pro se . You should see a lawyer. --Staff
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