Permanent Child Custody to Grandmother

by Rosemarie from Haines City, Florida, Polk County

Looking for a permanent modification of custody from a consenting mother to the grandmother. The mom wants to sign and consent to giving her oldest son to the grandmother.

Due to the fact that the grandmother she has had the child his whole life and the father was recently advised by a court mediator that his rights are being recommended as terminated because of his on going violence even at the mediation.

Is there a child custody form to sign over the child to the grandmother's custody?

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Rosemarie,

In any custody issue, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and the doctrine of "best interest" dictates how all custody decisions are made by a Florida court.

If the father does lose his parental rights due to violence as you stated and the change of custody from the mother to the grandmother is in the best interest of the child, then it is likely a court can approve the request.

My suggestion is to get Temporary Custody of the child to the grandmother. To gain temporary custody, the grandmother needs to petition the court for Temporary Custody by an Extended Family Member under Florida Statutes 751.

Since the mother currently has legal custody of her son, she will need to file a consent form along with the grandmother's petition. This method would temporarily transfer custody to the grandmother if approved by the court.

Normally, the consents of both parents would be required, but under the statute, you can have a court approve the Temporary Child Custody petition approved without the father's consent.

I am not sure how to get a Permanent child custody change except by the process of Adoption by Extended Family member.

You can find most of the required forms on the Florida Supreme Court’s Approved Family Law forms list. Read the form instructions carefully as there are often more forms that need to be filed along with the initial petition.

In addition, when filing the Petition for Temporary Custody with the court, the father will need to be served and given the chance to approach the court with a response.

Keep in mind that your request is further complicated by the current action against the father that is still in mediation, and the father still has custody rights for the child.

You will need to file a Notice of Related Cases with the details of current action against the father.

If the issue is still in mediation, both parents should openly discuss changing custody with the hired or appointed mediator.

This is such a complicated situation that I suggest you do not try to navigate this as a Pro Se. You should get legal advice and representation from a local family law attorney if you can.

Getting all parties to enter into an agreement is always the best way to handle any custody issue; otherwise, it is solely up to the court that is ruling on the petition.

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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