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Would a judge likely find abandonment in my termination of…

Would a judge likely find...
Would a judge likely find abandonment in my termination of parental rights case in Florida:Case is ongoing. I let my parents watch my son for 18 months. I was sending $900 a month and visited 3 times because I lived in another state and worked a lot.I asked for my son back now that I'm ok good ground but my parents want to keep him. They served me with TPR petition and adoption. They say the $900 I sent doesn't matter because the father of my son sends me that money and I just sent it to them, could that be true? And my three visits weren't enough? I texted and called almost 3x a day, but since he's a toddler, I didn't really talk to HIM. They're claiming abandonment. This has already taken 8 months in court and I'm just wondering if a judge will likely find abandonment.If I had known the $900 wasn't considered support from me I would have done something more, I had no idea they'd want to keep him!
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Answered in 17 minutes by:
1/18/2018
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,723
Experience: Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
Verified

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. My name is ***** ***** I'm an attorney. Please note this site is general information for educational purposes only and does NOT constitute legal advice. You might be offered a phone call, but you are under no obligation to accept; the phone call requests don’t come from me - they’re offered by the website - but if you do want a phone call I’d be happy to do that as well. I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.

When you left your child with your parents, was there any formal agreement in place?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I had notarized a document. I can't remember what it said, but it was for guardianship only and so they could make daycare and medical decisions

The irony is you could have shown up at your parents' house and picked up your child - and the police would have let you. But now that it's in the hands of the court it's that much more difficult. Based on what you've described there doesn't sound like there is any reason to deny you your child. The fact that the financial support comes from your ex is completely irrelevant.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
I know, it's awful. The only reason why I didn't do that was because I didn't want the cops to scare my son. I now wish I would have just picked him up, but I was trying to mediate with them instead of going that extreme route.The judge gave them temporary custody until the outcome of the TPR trial, does that sound normal? Under the law, we can't find where grandparents can get custody without a finding of abuse neglect or abandonment first. The judge did it on "best interest"...was he wrong?

That does sound normal... if the goal of the judge was to maintain continuity - and the judge felt that without more information it was in the best interests of the child (the standard that is typical) to remain where he was. None of that is unusual in this kind of case.

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It is frustrating that your attempts to do it the "right" way for your child landed you in litigation.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Is there any statue or law that says they can get temporary custody to keep status quo? Wouldn't something have to be a law or statue for a judge to order it? Can he just do whatever he wants?

The statute states that the "best interests" standard is used. After that, it's up to the judge to apply it.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Which statue?

https://www.sbcf-famlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Florida-Factors-for-Best-Interests-of-the-Child.pdf

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you. Unfortunately that's between parents not a parent and a third party. I know this is a tough question. It's been hard for me to find the answer.

You're right... but the best interests standard is applied in all such cases.

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It pretty much always is in cases involving children.

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But in this case a strict interpretation of the law would have given you back your child b/c you only had a temporary arrangement with your parents and you could terminate it at any time.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Does this mean I likely won't be able to see my son until after the TPR trial is over (which could take a year?) -- is there no way to fight the temporary custody before it even gets to TPR?

What you could do is file a temporary motion for visitation pending the outcome of the trial.

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There's really no basis for denying you that given the situation you've described.

Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,723
Experience: Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
Verified
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