The idea of visitation rights for individuals other than the child’s parents, including grandparents, aunts, and uncles, is a fairly new concept. In the past, the law allowed for only parents to have a legal vehicle by which to ask for visitation rights. Today, however, several states allow different family members to seek visitation rights for children to whom they are related. Florida, unfortunately, is not one of them. Not only do aunts and uncles have no visitation rights when it comes to related children, but even grandparents are not afforded this right, with limited exceptions.
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Exceptions to the Rule
Generally, in family law cases involving other non-parents such as aunts and uncles, a parent’s rights must first be terminated before a nonparent can step in and obtain custody of a child. Like any child custody matter, the final decision determining with whom the child or children should stay is based on the “best interest of the child” standard. That being said, there are some circumstances in which a Florida judge may grant a non-parent custody of children. This includes when a biological aunt or uncle is granted custody if the child or children’s natural parents were abusive or neglectful and the aunt or uncle formed a strong emotional bond with the children.
Temporary custody by an aunt or uncle allows the relative to act as a parent for a child who lives with the aunt or uncle but is not his or her child. Examples of what a relative granted temporary custody may do include consenting to medical treatment for the child, obtaining the child’s school and medical records, enrolling the child in school, and consenting to the child participating in school activities.
To consult with an experienced family law lawyer today, call 855-780-9986
Who Can Ask for Temporary Custody?
The person seeking temporary custody must be an adult or an emancipated minor. He or she must also be an extended family member to the child or the child’s step-parent. An extended family member is classified as someone who is related to the child by marriage or blood. The following types of relatives are considered extended family members under Florida law:
- Brother or sister
- Niece or nephew
- Aunt or uncle
- First cousin
- Great aunt or great uncle
- Great grandparent
Likewise, a child’s step-parent may ask for temporary custody of a child if he or she is currently married to the child’s parent and is not party in a criminal or civil case against the parent of the child.
Florida Child Custody Attorneys
It is no surprise that family issues affect not only the adult parents and their children, but other relatives and loved ones, as well. If you are an aunt or uncle who is seeking visitation rights of a child or who wishes to pursue temporary custody, contact the knowledgeable Florida family law attorneys at Bogin, Munns & Munns. Representing family law clients across the state of Florida, these attorneys can help guide you through any legal matter you and your family may be facing. Do not delay. Contact us today to schedule your case evaluation.
NOTICE: The article above is not intended to serve as legal advice, and you should not rely on it as such. It is offered only as general information. You should consult with a duly licensed attorney regarding your Florida legal matter, as every situation is unique. Please know that merely reading this article, subscribing to this blog, or otherwise contacting Bogin, Munns & Munns does not establish an attorney-client relationship with our firm. Should you seek legal representation from Bogin, Munns & Munns, any such representation must first be agreed to by the firm and confirmed in a written agreement.