Child Abandonment in Florida
by Single Parent from Florida
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.
In the past year the other parent has seen the child about 4 times. The 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 Florida Court Forms Question
Dear Single Parent,
Yes, maybe. 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.
But... 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 way?
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 rights.
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? Deny visitation? Get the 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.Notice:
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