Fla. governor signs termination of parental rights bill into law

In general, it is in the best interest of a child to spend time with both parents. However, in certain cases such as domestic abuse and sexual abuse, visitation with the child is not advisable. A sexual offense is a very serious matter and plays a significant role in determining whether or not a parent's child custody rights should be taken away. Typically, courts examine many factors to determine if a parent should be granted visitation rights or only granted visitation under supervised conditions.

Florida residents may be familiar with last year's news of a rapist who sought visitation rights with a child he fathered after raping a teen. The news made headlines across the nation because as a condition of his probation, the man acknowledged that he was the father of the child. This opened a door for him to seek visitation and custody rights of the child.

In April 2013, the Florida Senate unanimously approved a bill prohibiting a convicted rapist from having any custody rights with a child conceived as a result of rape. All the uncertainty about custody and visitation rights surrounding this circumstance was put to rest when Florida Governor Scott recently signed that bill into law.

Language in the law notes that when a court determines by clear and convincing evidence that a child was conceived during an act of sexual battery, termination of parental rights is in the best interest of the child. The bill takes effect on July 1, 2013.

Florida families interested in learning more about the new law or to understand how, if at all, it impacts them, may want to contact and consult a family law attorney to get their questions and concerns clarified.

Source: Biz Pac Review, "Florida Governor Scott signs 34 more bills into law," Cheryl C. Klimet, June 8, 2013

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