2005 Florida Code - DOMESTIC RELATIONS TEMPORARY CUSTODY OF MINOR CHILDREN BY EXTENDED FAMILYChapter 751

CHAPTER 751

TEMPORARY CUSTODY OF MINOR CHILDREN BY EXTENDED FAMILY

751.01  Purpose of act.

751.011  Definitions.

751.02  Determination of temporary custody proceedings; jurisdiction.

751.03  Petition for temporary custody; contents.

751.04  Notice and opportunity to be heard.

751.05  Order granting temporary custody.

751.01  Purpose of act.--The purposes of ss. 751.01-751.05 are to:

(1)  Recognize that many minor children in this state live with and are well cared for by members of their extended families. The parents of these children have often provided for their care by placing them temporarily with another family member who is better able to care for them. Because of the care being provided the children by their extended families, they are not dependent children.

(2)  Provide for the welfare of minor children who are living with an extended family, or who are being cared for by putative fathers whose paternity cannot be established given the absence of the mothers. At present, such family members are unable to give complete care to the child in their custody because they lack a legal document that explains and defines their relationship to the child, and they are unable effectively to consent to the care of the children by third parties.

(3)  Provide temporary custody of a minor child to a family member or putative father having physical custody of the minor child to enable the custodian to:

(a)  Consent to all necessary and reasonable medical and dental care for the child, including nonemergency surgery and psychiatric care;

(b)  Secure copies of the child's records, held by third parties, that are necessary to the care of the child, including, but not limited to:

1.  Medical, dental, and psychiatric records;

2.  Birth certificates and other records; and

3.  Educational records;

(c)  Enroll the child in school and grant or withhold consent for a child to be tested or placed in special school programs, including exceptional education; and

(d)  Do all other things necessary for the care of the child.

History.--s. 1, ch. 93-104.

751.011  Definitions.--As used in ss. 751.01-751.05, the term:

(1)  "Extended family" is any family composed of the minor child and a relative of the child who is the child's brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or cousin.

(2)  "Putative father" is a man who reasonably believes himself to be the biological father of the minor child, but who is unable to prove his paternity due to the absence of the mother of the child.

History.--s. 2, ch. 93-104; s. 4, ch. 96-305.

751.02  Determination of temporary custody proceedings; jurisdiction.--Any relative of a minor child who has the signed, notarized consent of the child's legal parents, or any relative of the child, including a putative father, with whom the child is presently living, may bring proceedings in the circuit court to determine the temporary custody of the child. A putative father may bring a proceeding for temporary custody only when he is unable to perfect personal service of process upon the mother of the child. When the putative father is able to perfect personal service of process upon the mother of the child, he must petition for custody and other relief, including the establishment of his paternity of the child, under chapter 742.

History.--s. 3, ch. 93-104.

751.03  Petition for temporary custody; contents.--Every 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, including the circumstances leading the petitioner to believe he is the natural father of the child when the petitioner is the putative father; and

(8)  The consent of the child's parents, or the circumstances of the child's current living situation with the petitioner.

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

History.--s. 4, ch. 93-104.

751.04  Notice and opportunity to be heard.--Before a decree is made under ss. 751.01-751.05, reasonable notice and opportunity to be heard must be given to the parents of the minor child by service of process, either personal or constructive.

History.--s. 5, ch. 93-104.

751.05  Order granting temporary custody.--

(1)  At the hearing on the petition for temporary custody, the court must hear the evidence concerning a minor child's need for care by the petitioner, all other matters required to be set forth in the petition, and the objections or other testimony of the child's parents, if present.

(2)  Unless the minor child's parents object, the court shall award the temporary custody of the child to the petitioner when it is in the best interest of the child to do so.

(3)  If one of the minor child's parents objects to the granting of temporary custody to the petitioner, the court shall grant the petition only upon a finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that the child's parent or parents are unfit to provide the care and control of the child. In determining that a parent is unfit, the court must find that the parent has abused, abandoned, or neglected the child, as defined in chapter 39.

(4)  The order granting temporary custody of the minor child to the petitioner may also grant visitation rights to the child's parent or parents, if it is in the best interest of the child to do so.

(5)  The order granting temporary custody of the minor child to the petitioner may not include an order for the support of the child unless the parent has received personal or substituted service of process, the petition requests an order for the support of the child, and there is evidence of the parent's ability to pay the support ordered.

(6)  The order granting temporary custody of a minor child to a putative father must not include a determination of the paternity of the child.

(7)  At any time, either or both of the child's parents may petition the court to terminate the order granting temporary custody upon a finding that the parent requesting the termination of the order is a fit parent, or by consent of the parties.

History.--s. 6, ch. 93-104.
Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Florida may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.