Reasons a Parent Might Be Granted Full Custody
Full custody is not granted as often these days as it once was, but on occasion, a judge may feel that granting full custody to one parent is in the best interests of the child. However, they do not make such a decision lightly. Most courts do not consider full custody to be a normal or even beneficial custody arrangement for a child. If a parent wants full custody of his or her child, the courts require them to file a formal petition detailing their reasons for wanting full custody. If the reasons are valid (i.e. not petty), they will hear the case, allowing each parent a chance to defend their rights.
Obtaining full custody is not easy to do, and requires the help of a skillful and knowledgeable attorney who understands why a judge might be inclined to grant your request. If you want full custody of your child, the child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White will help you prepare your petition and present your case to the judge in such a way as to obtain the best possible outcome.
Three Common Grounds for Obtaining Full Custody in Florida
According to Florida Statute 39.806, there are 12 statutory grounds for obtaining full custody. Three of the most common are as follows:
One of the most common reasons that a parent will win full custody is if the other parent is deemed unfit. The definition of an unfit parent varies, but most states consider abuse, neglect, and the failure to provide for and properly care for the child as grounds for revoking custody. Mental illness and substance addiction are also accepted grounds for gaining full custody. When a parent is deemed unfit, the child will be removed from their care for at least six months. The courts will then reconvene after six months to determine if conditions have changed for the unfit parent. If the courts find that conditions have not changed enough to create a healthy environment for the child, the other parent will retain full custody.
The courts consider an absent parent to be one who does not maintain contact with the child and who essentially abandons the child. A parent that fails to pay child support is not considered an absent parent, and listing this as a reason for requesting full custody will not suffice. If you list absent parent as grounds for seeking full custody, you may be required to first attempt to locate the absent parent. Additionally, even if you were to win full custody rights, if the absent parent were to resurface and want custody rights, they would be afforded the opportunity to reobtain parenting rights.
A parent may lose custody rights if they engaged in egregious conduct such as abuse, abandonment, or neglect, or if the had the opportunity and ability to prevent egregious conduct that threatened the life, safe, physical, mental, or emotional health of the child or the child’s siblings. Additionally, if one parent has a history of drug and/or alcohol abuse, and if they continue to abuse the substance and avoid receiving help, their parental rights may be terminated if and until they choose to get professional help.
Consult a Boca Raton Child Custody Lawyer
At the Law Offices of Schwartz | White, our Boca Raton child custody lawyers fully comprehend Florida family law, and know what constitutes as grounds for the termination of parental rights. If you have reason to believe that your child is unsafe with his or her other parent, and if you want to obtain full custodial rights of your child, reach out to our family lawyers today for help with building your case. Full custody is hard to obtain, but with a knowledgeable custody attorney on your side you have a better chance of winning your case and protecting your child’s well being. To schedule a private consultation with our team today, call 561.391.9943, or contact us online.