Infant child in Florida to remain in state custody

When most people hear the phrase child custody, they imagine divorced couples battling over who has primary custody of the child or how many visitation hours the non-custodial parent receives. While this is obviously the most common custody issue, it is not the only type of child custody issue. In some instances, state agencies determine that a parent or guardian is unfit to care for the child or that their care is not in the child's best interests.

One particular Florida case that illustrates this principle has been gaining notoriety recently. It all began when CPS was tipped off about the potential malnourishment of a seven-month-old girl. As they followed up on the lead and visited the house in which the girl was allegedly residing with her parents, authorities found neither the infant nor the mother. The pair was later found staying with some of the woman's friends in a different state.

Since then, they have been brought back to Florida, where the infant is in the custody of the state due to possible signs of medical neglect. According to the ruling, her parents must prove their sobriety before the state will even consider relinquishing custody, as authorities discovered pot in the couple's home. Official statements on behalf of the parents do not deny that the child's mother smoked pot, but the parents have claimed that they took good care of the child and were not previously concerned about her health.

As frightening as it may sound, you could feasibly have custody of your children taken from you even if you are in a happy, healthy relationship. When it comes down to it, states will always do what they believe is in the best interests of the child, and if they believe that the child is not receiving adequate care, they will intervene. Representation from an attorney can help you make a case to prove that you belong in your child's life. When it comes to custody of your child, you cannot be too careful.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Baby Penelope will remain in state custody, judge says," Elyssa Cherney, May 19, 2015

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