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Time Sharing, Child Custody, and Visitation Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Florida Child Custody: No, You Can’t Just Take Your Kid

As a parent, being separated from your child can be a very difficult time, especially if you don’t have custody of that child.

Last month, Alan Green picked up his 5-year-old daughter Alexandria from her grandparents’ house in Dunnellon. Alexandria’s grandparents are her legal guardians and Green was getting his daughter for a planned two-hour visit.

However, when Green didn’t return with Alexandria at the appointed time, authorities issued an Amber Alert. The situation ended three days later when Alexandria was found in a Herman, Missouri hotel – 800 miles away.

Because of this, Green was then arrested on the interference of a child custody warrant. Alexandria’s mother, who was also in the hotel where Alexandria was found, wasn’t charged.

Regardless of why Alexandria’s birth parents didn’t have custody of their daughter, under Florida law it is illegal to interfere and violate a child custody agreement. If someone else is the legal guardian of your child, it is imperative that you follow the established custody arrangement.

If you would like to change the custody arrangement, do it the legal way. An experienced Florida family lawyer can help.

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Understanding Child Custody in Florida

Florida courts always consider what is in the best interest of the child when ruling on custody. If you have lost custody of your child, it is because the court believes your child will be better off with another guardian.

Whether that guardian is your ex-spouse, a family member, or even a foster parent, if you want to get custody of your child again, you will need to go through legal proceedings. That means showing the court that your child will be better off with you. How do you do this?

How to Get Back Custody. As mentioned above, a knowledgeable child custody attorney can help you navigate the complicated Florida legal system to get your child back. A skilled lawyer will be able to look at the facts of your particular case and show you how to proceed in order to get the best outcome.

The most important step in getting custody of your child again is to address all of the issues that caused your child to be taken away in the first place. For example, if you abused drugs or alcohol, neglected or physically abused your child, or your home was unsafe for another reason, find a solution to correct the problem.

You could go to parenting classes or complete a drug and alcohol addiction program. You could go to counseling. You could simply fix your house. Whatever it takes to show that your previous issues are no longer issues will help your case.

You also want to make sure you follow the law, which shows that you’re a trustworthy parent who cares about and values their child. So if you have visitation and someone else has legal custody, stick to your allowed visits – even if you want to spend more time with your child.

If you violate the custody arrangement, you could be arrested, which doesn’t look good to the court. By following the arrangement in place, you’re showing the court you are a responsible and suitable parent for your child.

Not having custody of your child might make you feel hopeless, but with a little patience and an experienced Florida child custody lawyer by your side, you might be able to prove that being with you is the best thing for your kid.