Whenever parents are going through a divorce, or even when experiencing issues with a crime or substance abuse, custody may become a pressing issue. It is important to resolve these problems efficiently with the help of a lawyer. An attorney who practices family law can help show a judge that a parent can provide a good home and meet parenting standards created by the state.
The government takes custody of the missing child in Tampa
A 1-year-old child that had been reported missing for several days and was believed to be in danger was taken into protective custody by the state. Authorities now believe that the child was with his mother, who had a criminal record, for the entire nine days his whereabouts were unknown.
Investigators in Hillsborough County received an anonymous tip that the child was being neglected over a week earlier. His 33-year-old mother also had an outstanding arrest warrant related to a misdemeanor theft charge.
When the search initially started, law enforcement had no idea where the child could possibly be located. They had already obtained an order to take protective custody, but it took several hours of searching to get some leads regarding the location of the mother and her son.
Later, deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff did find the child. He appeared to be in good health and did not show any signs of abuse. The child’s mother was also found a couple of hours later. She was taken to the county jail and held without a bond.
The news report did not give specifics about exactly where the child was located for security reasons.
Child custody issues in Florida
One of the most important factors in any custody hearing or dispute is proving to the judge assigned to the case and/or the government that the child will have a safe, stable environment to grow. Situations like the news story above, where a parent is involved in crime or has other problems, such as substance abuse or a history of violence, may cause the assigned judge and/or state to award custody to the other parent. They may terminate the parental rights of both of the parents if neither appears to be suitable.
The standard that the government uses in the state to determine custody in a family law proceeding is the best interests of the child. This phrase is somewhat vague, but judges are given some guidance about making this determination. A child should have enough financial resources in their home for essentials like food, clothing, and healthcare. They should also have an environment that is free from various forms of abuse and disruptions that can be psychologically damaging, amongst other factors. It is always best to consult with a lawyer to determine how you may be able to present yourself in a favorable light to a judge and maximize your custody time with your children.
Get help from a custody lawyer in the Tampa area
Attorneys who deal with child custody hearings, divorces, and related family law issues can assist you. The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet provide professional guidance and assistance to local clients in Florida.