This is the next post in my series on gaining guardianship over a child in Melbourne, Florida. My last article discussed the process of obtaining guardianship of a child. The process includes filing a Petition for the Appointment of a Guardian with the court and going through a trial. Interested parties can also petition for immediate temporary orders to ensure the child is safe throughout the duration of the trial. In this article I will discuss what parents can expect if guardianship of their child is granted to someone other than themselves. It is important to understand that guardianship cases are incredibly complicated and should be handled by experienced Florida attorneys. If you are in need of assistance, then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
Florida courts will require visitations of the child’s parent or parents to be supervised by someone other than the legal guardian
The court will almost always grant visitation rights to the child’s parent or parents absent extreme circumstances. The only situations where the court will not grant visitation is if it would place the child in severe danger. If visitation is granted, the guardian will be required to follow through with the visitation requirement. The court will most likely require visitations to be supervised by a social worker or a family member that is not the guardian of the child. The court will also specify how the supervised visits will work and may order the visits to take place in a designated facility. Typically, these visits will take place at the courthouse or another community location.
It is important for the guardian to ensure that these visitations occur as required by the court’s orders. If the guardian does not follow through with the visitation requirements, they may suffer certain consequences. For example, they could be held in contempt of court or even lose guardianship status. It is also crucial to note that the guardian will be expected to not disparage the parents to the child. The guardian could receive serious repercussions for this as well.
Florida judges will terminate the guardianship and reunite the child with the parents when it is in the best interests of the child
The guardian will be required to periodically return to court for status checks to ensure the guardianship is still in the best interests of the child. The court’s goal is to ultimately reunite children with their parents. Therefore, the court will terminate the custody upon a finding that the child’s parents are fit, or by consent of the parties. For instance, this may occur when a parent was originally found unfit due to drug use but later tests clean. The court may also modify an order granting custody if the parties consent or if the modification is in the best interest of the child.
If you are considering requesting guardianship over a minor child, then I cannot overemphasize the importance of retaining an experienced lawyer for assistance. Guardianships are extremely complex and should always be handled by someone familiar with the processes and the law. I am a Melbourne family law attorney with extensive experience in guardianship cases. I understand the serious nature of such situations and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today for assistance. We also serve the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.