The Florida Bar
American Bar Association
Weston Florida Chamber of Commerce

Temporary Custody of Minor Children by Extended Family Members in the State of Florida

In the State of Florida, Grandparents were allowed in the past pursuant to Florida Statute to pursue both Custody and Visitation Rights to their grandchildren.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America held that Grandparent Custody and Visitation Rights were an invasion of the privacy rights of the biological parents and abolished these rights.

Following the precedent established by the Supreme Court of the United States, the States were required to follow.

The State of Florida's statute governing Grandparent's custody and visitations rights was ruled unconstitutional and abolished.

The Florida Legislature subsequently entered Florida Statute 751 which does not directly refer to Grandparents Visitation and Custody Rights, but defines certain limited circumstances in which extended Family Members may Petition the Court to obtain Temporary Custody of their family members minor children.

Custody may be granted to the extended Family Member if the parents Consent to such a placement, because they cannot care for their child or children.

If no Consent is given and the biological Parents object then it is necessary for the Extended Family Member to file a Petition for Temporary Custody with the Court.

In Order for this Petition to be successful, the Petition must prove by Clear and Convincing Evidence that the parent or parents are unfit to provide for the care and control of the child or children. In determining that a parent is unfit, the Court must find that the parent has abused, abandoned, or neglected the child, as defined by Chapter 39.

Please feel free to contact my office if you are a Parent who is seeking the return of your child or children or you are an Extended Family Member seeking Temporary Custody of a child that you believe is in danger.

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