Typically, the Florida courts attempt to preserve the relationship between children and their parents. They will not do so if it could harm the child, though, and if a court determines that a parent engages in behavior that is detrimental to a child, it may sever the parent’s rights. In a recent ruling, a Florida court explained the grounds for terminating parental rights in a matter in which the mother appealed a trial court’s ruling that her parental rights should be severed. If you need assistance protecting your parental rights, it is essential to hire a dedicated Cape Coral child custody lawyer to assist you.
The Factual Background
It is alleged that the mother had three children. The father of the two younger children sexually assaulted the oldest child, after which his rights were severed. Further, he was barred from coming within 500 feet of the mother’s house or contacting the children, pursuant to an injunction issued by the trial court.
It is reported that the oldest daughter woke up one evening and found the father attacking the mother. She tried to stop the assault, and the father hit and choked her. The Department of Children and Families (DCF) later determined that the father regularly visited the mother’s home, thereby violating the injunction. As such, DCF argued that the mother engaged in abhorrent conduct and moved to sever the mother’s parental rights. During a hearing on the issue, the mother conceded that she never ended her relationship with the father. Additionally, the evidence showed that he was regularly in the mother’s house. Thus, the court severed the mother’s rights. She then appealed. Continue reading ›