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Woman with substantial change in circumstances wants custody

Not all custody issues involve Florida parents who are divorcing. In some cases, a parent is seeking to gain custody of his or her child who is a ward of the state. One woman who recently experienced a substantial change in circumstances wants to gain custody of her child from the state.

The father of the now five-month-old baby had custody of the child while the mother was in jail. For whatever reason, the baby’s father left him with a friend. The baby was later abandoned outside a fire station on Jan. 23. It is unclear if it was the father or the friend that left the child there.

Now that the woman has been released from jail, she is fighting for custody of her son. The boy is currently in a foster home supervised by the Florida Department of Children & Families. The woman may get to see her son for the first time since his birth in the coming weeks.

At a recent hearing to decide the child’s fate, two additional court dates were set. Mediation regarding custody is also supposed to take place. It could be some time before the issue of custody is settled. No indication of where the father is or what his role in the child’s custody will be was reported.

Florida courts can modify custody arrangements if a substantial change in circumstances is demonstrated. In this case, that circumstance may be the mother’s release from jail. If the court is convinced that it is in the best interests of the child to be placed with his mother, she may be awarded custody. If that happens, she may then ask the court to order child support to be paid by the baby’s father to provide her with some financial assistance in raising her son.

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Mother of abandoned baby seeks custody, Robert Nolin, Feb. 14, 2014