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How Long Does a Temporary Custody Order Last? Can I Revoke It?
Temporary custody generally lasts until there is another order by the family court addressing custody matters. The judge awards temporary custody to one parent pending the outcome of a divorce case, a paternity case, or custody battle.
The purpose of temporary custody is to make arrangements for the children until the parties settle custody issues or the court makes a final custody determination.
Temporary Custody by Extended Family Members
The court could award temporary custody to a parent or an extended family member. Chapter 751 of the Florida Code addresses temporary custody to extended family members.
There are many reasons why extended family members might have temporary custody of a child, including:
- A parent is serving in the military
- The parent is unfit or unable to care for the child
- A parent is diagnosed with a severe illness or condition that prevents the parent from caring for the child
- The parent abandons the child
- A child has been living with an extended family member who needs authority to make legal decisions for the child
- There is abuse or neglect by the parent
- The child requires special care that the parent cannot provide
Extended family members who may have temporary custody according to Florida laws include:
- Aunts and uncles
- First cousins
- Step-parents who are married to one of the child’s legal guardians
Parental consent is not required for the court to award temporary custody to an extended family member. In most cases, the court finds that the parent cannot or will not care for the child. Therefore, it is in the child’s best interest to be placed with an extended family member.
How Can Temporary Custody to Extended Family Members End?
Unlike temporary custody in a divorce case or custody battle, temporary custody granted to an extended family member has no set end date. A judge could set an ending date in some cases, but generally, there is no expiration date for the temporary custody.
For temporary custody to end, the extended family member could voluntarily relinquish custody back to one or both of the child’s parents. Alternatively, the child’s parents could petition the court to end temporary custody.
However, if a parent petitions to end temporary custody awarded to an extended family member, the court will review the case to determine what is in the child’s best interest. If the judge finds that continuing temporary custody with the extended family member is best for the child, the judge denies the parent’s petition for custody.
Challenging an Award for Temporary Custody with an Extended Family Member
A parent may fight a petition or action to grant temporary custody to an extended family member. However, as in other custody cases, the child’s best interests are the controlling factor in the custody decision.
Without a parent’s consent, the extended family member must prove that it is in the best interest of the child to remove custody from the parent.
However, the parent should be ready to fight as well. The parent needs to prove that the child would be better off remaining with the parent instead of custody being transferred to the extended family member.
As in other custody cases, the judge considers multiple factors to determine what is in the child’s best interest. Factors the judge might consider in a temporary custody case involving an extended family member include:
- Whether the parent would be a danger to the child
- Allegations of domestic violence, neglect, or sexual abuse
- Whether the parent can provide a safe, stable home for the child
- Allegations of substance abuse
- The stability of the child’s home and routine
- A parent’s mental and health conditions
- The ability of the parent to put the child’s needs above their needs
Judges may consider all relevant factors that impact the child’s best interests.
Custody matters are some of the most challenging issues handled by family courts. Deciding what is in the best interest of a child can be difficult when both parties disagree.
Fighting for Temporary Custody of a Child
Winning a temporary custody case comes down to the evidence. The stronger the evidence, the better chance you have of winning the custody case.
Evidence that can support your argument for temporary or permanent custody include:
- Affidavits from family members, friends, teachers, coaches, and other individuals involved in the child’s life
- Statements from medical professionals and mental health providers
- Recommendations from child custody evaluators
- Results from a psychological custody evaluation
- Medical records and school records
- Evidence of participation in the child’s daily activities
Gathering as much evidence as possible to present at the hearing establishing that you are the best person to have custody of the child improves your chances of gaining temporary custody.
Contact Our Divorce Law Firm in Orlando, FL
Contact the experienced Orlando divorce lawyers at McMichen, Cinami & Demps today for legal assistance. Contact our Orlando, FL office at (407) 898-2161 to schedule a free consultation.
McMichen, Cinami & Demps – Orlando Office
1500 E Concord St
Orlando, FL 32803