Mother and grandfather in child custody fight
The mother of a Florida girl is seeking custody of her daughter after the child's father confessed to murdering his mother in February. The father had sole custody of the girl at the time, and they were living with his mother. The child's paternal grandfather is also attempting to terminate the mother's parental rights.
According to police, the girl was in the house when her father killed his mother in the family's backyard. He then drove his daughter to a friend's house and dropped her off, and then turned himself in to police. The girl is now living with a family friend after briefly being in the care of the Florida Department of Children and Families.
The girl's grandmother had requested temporary custody in 2013, but she dropped the petition when the girl's mother contested it and indicated that she would want custody if the girl was not with living with her father. The mother's lawyer said that the court will look into the woman's criminal background and inspect her home in Maryland, where she would be taking her daughter to live, before granting custody. The petition filed by the girl's paternal grandfather that seeks to terminate the mother's parental rights will be discussed at a subsequent hearing.
Child custody cases are not always between the mother and father, and they can sometimes get complicated. Grandparents or other caregivers who are attempting to gain custody of a child would need to show in court that awarding custody to them is in the child's best interest. In some cases, the parties involved can reach a custody agreement through negotiations without going to court.SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times, 'Clearwater woman who tried to help son died at his hand, police say," Laura C. Morel and Carolyn Edds, Feb. 25, 2014
Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Mother of Clearwater girl whose father is accused in slaying continues custody fight", March 20, 2014