A killer was sent to death row after shooting the mother of his child and her boyfriend. His then two-year-old daughter has since been in the custody of her maternal grandfather. Recently, though, the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) removed the now seven-year-old girl from her home after potential abuse allegations and placed her with the mother of the killer, who is currently in solitary confinement in Raiford Prison.
By court order, the convicted murderer is not allowed to have any contact with his daughter. Even so, his parental rights have not been terminated. He is prepared to sign over those rights to his mother who would then become the child’s permanent legal guardian, a move that DCF supports. DCF officials explain that they determine what is in the best interest of the child by interviewing all parties involved, including the girl herself.
The interviews are meant to determine if the child is in danger. Allegations of abuse or neglect are not enough to cause DCF to take action. However, no one on the maternal grandfather’s side of the family was interviewed by DCF, and no charges have been filed against the maternal grandfather. DCF agents, along with a sheriff’s deputy, simply showed up one day and removed the girl from the only home she could remember.
This heartbreaking case about the custody of an innocent young girl in florida has many unanswered questions and differing opinions regarding with whom the girl should live. The one thing that everyone can agree on is that the right thing to do is what is best for the child. Navigating the courts alone can be a daunting task, especially in such emotional circumstances as a child custody case. Legal representation can help make the process much smoother and ensure that everyone involved is working toward the best solution for the child.
Source: news-journalonline.com, Killer’s family wins custody of victim’s daughter, Tony Holt, Feb. 12, 2014