If you have a nephew, niece, or grandchild living with you, you may have run into a roadblock when attempting to acquire his or her birth records or passport. Further, you may have gotten the run around when attempting to make decisions concerning the child’s education or healthcare. Fortunately, this state has a solution in chapter 751 of the Florida Statutes.
Chapter 751 permits an extended family member to take temporary custody of a minor child, access state and other records, and make major decisions concerning a child’s upbringing. But, keep in mind, temporary custody must be granted by a Florida court (and cannot simply be signed away by a parent), and there are strict procedural requirements that must be met.
Only an “extended family member” may petition for custody under chapter 751. An extended family member is either (a) a relative of the minor child within the third degree by blood or marriage to a parent (i.e., the child’s older brother or sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, or grandparent) or (b) a stepparent.
Additionally, both parents of the child must consent, under oath and in writing, to the temporary custody. If either of the parents do not consent, temporary custody will generally be denied by the Court, except under limited circumstances.
However, if the child has been living with a family member and the non-consenting parent is found to have abandoned, abused, or neglected the child, than a Florida judge may still grant temporary custody.
As mentioned above, there are strict procedural safeguards in place under chapter 751, and a person seeking temporary custody should consult with a family law attorney.
If you have questions regarding temporary custody by an extended family member, and you wish to schedule a consultation with a custody attorney in Tampa Bay, contact The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our online contact form.