Grandmother Wants Custody of Grandchildren

by Mike from Orlando, Florida, Orange County

A grandmother wants custody of her 4 grandchildren. The daughter is not mentally stable; cannot hold a job; moves from place to place. The grandchildren currently live with the Grandmother but she does not have custody.

The daughter will not give up her custody rights. Since this is a very unhealthy situation for both the mother and children.

Is there something that the Grandmother can do to get custody of these children and to receive child care funds?

There are four different fathers in this situation and none of them are involved or are pursuing custodial rights. Thank you for your time and consideration of this question.

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Mike,

The grandmother can file a Petition for Temporary Custody by an Extended Family Member under Florida Statute 751. This type of petition is usually, but not always, consensual.

However, since the children are already living with the grandmother, and if the grandmother is willing to explain to a judge that this temporary custody change is in the best interests of the children, it may be granted without the consent of the mother.

The mother will have to be notified, and will have an opportunity to dispute a temporary custody order. If the grandmother is awarded temporary custody, later on she may be able to create a more stable arrangement, such as an extended family adoption. Have a look at our Temporary Custody by Extended Family Members page.

As temporary custodian of the children, the grandmother would be able to apply for social services in their behalf, such as Medicaid and Food Stamps.

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.

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Comments for Grandmother Wants Custody of Grandchildren

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Grandmother Wants Custody of Grandchild
by: Sondra from Wakulla, Florida, Wakulla County

I am a grandmother, who is taking care of my daughter and granddaughter. I am financially taking care of my granddaughter, she is going to be 18 months in two months, she and my daughter live in my household. Mother is not able to support herself or my granddaughter- the father does not pay child support at all, either no job or in jail. I can only carry my granddaughter two more months on my insurance unless I have proof of custody, how would I be able to do this?

--First make sure that your insurance company will be satisfied with temporary custody of your granddaughter. Then you can petition the court for Temporary Custody of a Minor Child by an Extended Family Member, under Florida Statutes 751. See our Temporary Custody Forms page for more information. Consents of both parents is usually required. However, since you are already taking care of the child in your home, and the father is not supporting her, the courts may not require his consent.

Check with your local courthouse to find out whether they have forms available for the process. Have a look at our Temporary Custody by Extended Family Members page. It covers the forms, instructions and other useful information to help you get custody of your granddaughter. Unfortunately, the process is expensive; the court filing fee is around $400. I believe this is unfair for this particular process because the extended family member who is taking care of their relative's child is stepping up to do the right thing.

When you go to file your petition, also ask the clerk of the court for an Application for Civil Indigent Status. If you qualify for civil indigent status the filing fee can be waived. The clerk of court makes the determination based on the information you provide on that form. --Staff

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