This is the next post in my series on how alcoholism can impact child custody cases in Melbourne, Florida. My last article discussed steps a parent should take if their counterpart is abusing alcohol. It is important to contact an attorney immediately as the Court will be less likely to view the matter as an emergency if you wait to bring the matter before the judge. By contacting Counsel sooner, rather than later, you help to ensure that you are making the best possible case to the court. In this article I will discuss another important topic – how judges tend to view matters involving alcohol and violence. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child custody lawyer.
Florida courts will take immediate action in child custody cases involving alcohol and violence
A Florida family court’s first priority will always be for the best interest of the child in any custody case. It goes without saying that nothing is more important than ensuring the child’s safety. This is why, like other states, Florida presumes that a parent with a history of domestic violence should not share joint custody of a child. When a parent has clearly demonstrated a pattern of drunken behavior, which leads to violence, it is unlikely that the court will allow that parent to enjoy joint custody of the child. If the child has been the victim of violence then the court is likely to hold an immediate hearing, assuming that the Department of Children and Families is not involved. At this hearing, if the court has reason to believe that the behavior may recur, then the court is likely to require that any future visitation be supervised. This requirement of supervision would likely stay in place until such time that the parent can demonstrate that they have changed their behavior. Even in situations that appear to be a “one-time event,” the Court is likely to require the offending parent to complete some type of counseling or alcohol treatment prior to them having regular time with the child. It is important to understand that how the Court will rule in any given situation is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case. If your son or daughter has been the victim of violence, and the incident involved alcohol, then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child custody lawyer.
The first step to take if your child has been the victim of violence can depend on if they are currently in your care or the care of the other parent. If the child is in the care of the other parent, and you are afraid for their safety, then you should contact law enforcement if you believe the threat to be imminent. If, however, the child is in your care then it may be better to speak with an attorney before taking action. Speaking with counsel can help you to ensure that you do not make unsubstantiated claims to law enforcement. If law enforcement becomes involved, they may be likely to take the child into protective custody and refer the matter to the Department of Children and Families. If you are in a position to contact a lawyer before contacting law enforcement, then your representative can file a request with the Court for an emergency hearing. Again, how to proceed is going to be very fact specific in such situations. No two cases are the same and it is suggested that you seek legal advice immediately.
Contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child custody lawyer
If you believe that your son or daughter is in danger then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne child custody lawyer. I am a former prosecutor and I am also a parent. I understand that cases, which involve danger to children, must receive the utmost priority. My office devotes itself to the practice of family law and we understand the gravity of such situations. We pride ourselves on offering a high level of service and we stay in regular communication with our clients in each and every case we handle. We understand that this is a serious time in your life and we will take the situation seriously. Contact us today. We also serve the 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.