One of the most upsetting experiences Florida parents can go through is losing custody of their children, whether this happens as a result of divorce or in some other circumstance. Children may be placed with the other parent, with relatives or even in foster care. However, there are things parents can do to try to regain custody of their children.
First, the parent must consider the situation objectively and work out why the judge believed denying custody was in the best interests of the child. This could be because someone said the parent was abusive or neglectful, because the parent violated a court order or for some other reason. The parent may want to work with an attorney to try to get access to the child again.
If there are conditions placed on access to the child, the parent should observe them. For example, the parent may have been asked to complete a substance abuse program. Time is usually better spent doing this than arguing about the conditions. It may also put the parent in a better position in court. The parent may need to request an in-home evaluation. Parents should be patient, obey any requests the court makes and consider whether shared custody or another alternative arrangement might be acceptable.
An attorney may be able to help a parent prepare for a child custody hearing. There are a number of ways a parent may increase the likelihood of a good outcome in such a hearing including dressing appropriately, following court rules and demonstrating a willingness to cooperate with the other parent. In some cases, parents may be allowed to bring in witnesses to testify to their parenting skills. Parents should be prepared to show that they are involved in the child’s life through attending extracurricular activities and school meetings.