Custody of Niece in Florida
by Robin from Branford, Florida, Suwannee County
Hi My Name is Robin. My niece Anna who is from Ohio was given custody of her Husbands nieces. They were taken away from their natural parents because of drugs and etc.
Anna came to Florida and lived with me for a while. She left one of the children with me who is 14.
This child has been bounced around all her life. She has learning disabilities. She has been with me for 1 year now and I have been supporting her taking her to the doctor and dentist. I am attempting to get her in a private school under the Mckay scholarship (this is for kids with learning problems).
Anna the aunt signed a paper giving me rights to the child to seek medical and such but the school says no good, this form is notarized. So I am wanting to try and go under the Petition for temporary custody by extended family member. Can I do this or what do I need to do?
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
The world needs more people like you. In years past it was commonplace for extended family members to care for relatives children.
These informal custody arrangements still happen, but unfortunately they have become more difficult to navigate. I'm not sure why the schools are demanding that extended family members have formal custody, but they must have their reasons.
The process you're referring to is codified in Florida Statute 751. I've included parts of the statute at the end of this post.Recently when I checked one of the Florida Clerk of Court websites I found that the filing fee for that process is $400. Some of the judicial circuits provide the forms on their websites, and others don't.
751.011 Definitions.--As used in ss. 751.01-751.05, the term "extended family member" is any person who is:
(1) A relative within the third degree by blood or marriage to the parent; or
(2) The stepparent of a child if the stepparent is currently married to the parent of the child and is not a party in a pending dissolution, separate maintenance, domestic violence, or other civil or criminal proceeding in any court of competent jurisdiction involving one or both of the child's parents as an adverse party.
You can read more about this law at our Temporary Custody by Extended Family Members page
. It has information on all the forms, instructions and other useful tips to help you get custody of your niece.Notice:
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