Full Custody in Florida
by Danielle from Land O Lakes, Florida, Pasco County
Can I get full custody of my son in Florida after 4 years of father out of picture? I have full sole custody of my son until father fulfills court order to take parenting class and other items.
He has not fulfilled these items and it has been a little over 4 years.
My husband of the past 4 years would like to adopt him. Can I get full custody and at what point in Florida can I take action?
Answer to Florida Child Custody Question
From what you wrote it sounds like you already have full custody - "until father fulfills court order to take parenting class and other items."
Florida has a procedure for step-parent adoptions which can be done pro se (without an attorney).
The forms can be found on the Florida Supreme Court's website at www.flcourts.org
Have a look at our web-powered instructions page for Florida Stepparent Adoption
. The Florida Supreme Court approved form that is central to the process is Joint Petition for Adoption by Step-Parent, Form 12.981(b)(1). The instructions for that form state in part:
This form should be used when a stepparent is adopting his or her spouse’s child. Both the stepparent and his or her spouse must sign this petition. You must attach all necessary consents or acknowledgments that apply to your case, as listed under the Special Notes section below. Florida Statutes require that consent to adoption be obtained from:Notice:
• the mother
of the minor.
• the father of the minor if:
- the minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother;
- the minor is his child by adoption;
- the minor has been established by a court proceeding to be his child;
- he has filed an affidavit of paternity pursuant to section 382.013(2)(c) Florida Statutes; or
- in the case of an unmarried biological father, he has acknowledged in writing, signed in the presence of a competent witness, that he is the father of the minor, has filed such acknowledgment with the Office of Vital Statistics of the Department of Health within the required timeframes, and has complied with the requirements of section 63.062(2).
Determining whether someone’s consent is required, or when consent may not be required is a complicated issue and you may wish to consult an attorney. For more information about consenting to adoption, you should refer to Chapter 63, Florida Statutes, and sections 63.062 - 63.082 in particular.
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