Child Custody Battle With The Grandmother
by Anonymous from Tampa, Florida, Hillsborough County
Hi staff, a lawsuit has been filed against me. My child's grandmother wants custody of my child. My child has been staying with her grandmother ever since her mother passed away about 3 to 4 months ago.
The grandmother wanted me, who is the biological father of this child in which my name is on her birth certificate to sign some paper that give her legal guardianship and custody over my child.
I refused to do so, so now she served me a petition and I must respond back in 20 days, and now I got to Monday before 5pm to get my response written. I really didn't see no packet or forms that fit the answer or response at the circuit court and the legal advisors had left for the day.
My biggest question I have is what form or can I type my own form up to the response and what should I include in it. Thank you! Please someone give me some legal advice time is running out.
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
As with any answer in civil court, answer each numbered paragraph to correspond with each statement on the complaint or, in your case, on the petition. In family court, it is extremely important to dispute any and all false allegations as soon as they are made.
For instance, if the grandmother is alleging that even though you are the legal father,
you should not be able to have custody of your child because of your behavior AND the grandmother's claim is false, you need to make that known in writing, as soon as possible.
And yes, absolutely, you can type or even hand write your own answer. The court must accept them. Imagine the pleadings which inmates file, many are handwritten, since most inmates have no access to a computer or word processor.
Even if you have missed the 20 calendar deadline to file your answer, you could file it anyway. I looked all over the Florida Supreme Court's site and as far as I can tell there is no form there that exactly meets your needs.
Have a look at our Answer to Civil Summons
page for more information. It is not geared specifically to family law, but there may be some helpful information, and, after all, family law is part of civil law.Notice:
We provide these answers
to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.
If you need legal advice, we recommend LagalMatch's free Lawyer Referral Service. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations. Get the legal advice you deserve.Free Family Lawyer Referral
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