Temporary Custody in Florida

Temporary Custody of Minor Child by Extended Family Member

Florida Temporary Custody: Temporary Child Custody by Extended Family, Temporary Custody Forms, Law, Information, Help, and Instructions. Once upon a time it wasn’t unusual for a family member to care for a relative’s child.

Grandparents took care of their grandchildren, sometimes for long periods of time; children were sent to aunts and uncles; or an older sibling took over parental responsibilities.

Many times there was no formal custody arrangement at all.

The families simply decided among themselves what was best for the children. Reasons varied just as families vary.

Like today the reasons for having a relative care for a child include economic, academic, and emotional.

Temporary Custody of a Child by a Family Member

Parents that fall on financial hard times might seek help from their parents or in-laws to take care of their children until they are back on their feet.

High school educational opportunities where children’s aunt and uncle live may be exactly the course of study a teen is seeking, but unavailable in their own school district.

A parent’s substance abuse problem, drugs or alcohol, might demand that the extended family remove the children from that home until the parent cleans up.

In the past informal custody arrangements among family members were common and acceptable.

Nowadays society in general and schools in particular demand that child custody be formalized. Under Florida Statutes 751 an extended family member may petition the court for temporary custody of a minor child.

This law allows a child’s grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, aunts and uncles, great aunts and great uncles, first cousins, adult siblings, or step-parents (if the step-parent is still happily married to the parents) to petition the court for a temporary order granting custody. The definition of “extended family member” is a relative within the third degree by blood or marriage to the parent.

Some Florida judicial circuits provide a form that petitioners may use to request temporary custody by an extended family member. Florida Statute 751.03 lists the necessary statements and information that must be included in the petition for temporary custody:

751.03 Petition for temporary custody; contents.--Each petition for temporary custody of a minor child must be verified by the petitioner and must contain statements, to the best of petitioner's knowledge and belief, showing:

(1) The name, date of birth, and current address of the child;

(2) The names and current addresses of the child's parents;

(3) The names and current addresses of the persons with whom the child has lived during the past 5 years;

(4) The places where the child has lived during the past 5 years;

(5) Information concerning any custody proceeding in this or any other state with respect to the child;

(6) The residence and post office address of the petitioner;

(7) The petitioner's relationship to the child;

(8) The consent of the child's parents, or the specific acts or omissions of the parents which demonstrate that the parents have abused, abandoned, or neglected the child as defined in chapter 39;

(9) Any temporary or permanent orders for child support, the court entering the order, and the case number;

(10) Any temporary or permanent order for protection entered on behalf of or against either parent, the petitioner, or the child; the court entering the order; and the case number;

(11) That it is in the best interest of the child for the petitioner to have custody of the child; and

(12) A statement of the period of time the petitioner is requesting temporary custody, including a statement of the reasons supporting that request.

Only an extended family member may file a petition under this chapter.

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