In Florida, guardianships give a family member legal authority over a minor or disabled adult. The assignment is available when the minor or the adult is at risk and need immediate help. The guidelines outline what type of risks warrant the need for a new guardian.
Obtaining Evidentiary Support
The family member hoping to get guardianship over a minor must provide evidence of a risk to the child. The conditions are reported to the police and child protective services. The agencies visit the home where the child lives and conducts an investigation. The child is interviewed by a child psychologist and examined by a doctor.
Appearing Before the Judge
The family member appears before the judge in a preliminary hearing to get emergency child custody. All evidence of wrongdoing and the risk is discussed with the judge. A caseworker for child protective services explains all the findings of their assessment. If the family member has sufficient evidence, the judge provides emergency custody.
The Terms of Emergency Custody
The terms of emergency custody entitle the temporary guardian to make decisions about the child. The parents receive supervised visitation with the child according to the court order. In dire circumstances, the new guardian has the right to refuse visitation. The child lives with the temporary guardian for a period of up to one year. The court evaluates the biological parent under that time.
Permanent Guardianship Assignments
When the risk still exists, the court provides permanent guardianship assignments. Under some circumstances, the court might terminate the biological parent’s rights. However, the termination of rights happens only in serious conditions where the child’s life is threatened. The guardianship assignment lasts until the child turns eighteen years old. The court could also assign a caseworker to monitor the child and their new home.
In Florida, guardianship cases start with a report to the authorities and the removal of the child from the home. The child is evaluated to determine if the allegations are substantiated. Emergency custody is provided when the court determines that the child is endangered. Petitioners who need help with a guardianship case contact Destin attorneys for more information right now.