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A common question that our Jacksonville Florida divorce attorneys receive is whether grandparents or other relatives have a right to custody (also known as “timesharing”) or access to a child.
Florida law recognizes that many minor children live with and are well cared for by members of their extended families, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins and even step parents. The parents of these children often leave their children with another family member who is better able to care for them. However, most family members are not fully able to provide care to the children because they lack a legal document that explains and defines their relationship to the child; therefore, the family members are unable to do all things necessary for the care of the child, such as enrolling the child in school, obtaining medical and other records and consenting to all reasonable and necessary medical decisions for the child. As a result, the Florida legislature enacted Chapter 751, Temporary Custody of Minor Children by Extended Family, to provide for the welfare of a minor child who is living with extended family members.
Under Chapter 751, a family member may seek temporary custody of a child if it is proven the child has been abused, abandoned or neglected. A family member may also be awarded temporary custody upon the consent of the parents. In order to bring an action to determine the temporary custody of a minor child.
For more information about obtaining an order for temporary custody or whether you qualify as an extended family member, click here to view Statute 751 or contact us to schedule a consultation with one of the firm’s Jacksonville divorce and family law attorneys.