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Steve W. Marsee, P.A. - Attorney At Law
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Central Florida Military Mom to Regain Custody of Kids

Military veteran Amanda Hurst is one step closer to getting her two kids back, according to a recent MyNews13 report. The former army vet was honorably discharged in 2013 after serving overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan but, unfortunately, found out upon her return to the states that her children had come under the care of New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families (DCF) and out of the guardianship of Hurst’s stepmother, under who’s care she left the children after her deployment overseas.

Fighting For Her Kids

Hurst had to navigate through a great deal of bureaucracy specifically because of the particular facts of her case. For instance, her children – now 14 and 15 – have special psychological needs and ended up under the care of the state because the daughter had discipline issues and the son was aggressive toward the grandmother. Hurst returned to Florida after her honorable discharge, and had to maneuver between two different state agencies for children – one in Florida and the other in New Jersey. The latter agreed Hurst should regain custody of the children as long as the former’s DCF stays involved providing the same services to the teens. This agreement came to fruition during a conference call between two family law judges (on in New Jersey and one in Florida) and attorneys for the two states’ DCF agencies.

Best Interest of the Child

Florida law requires a family law judge to consider “the best interest of the child” when determining family law cases, particularly when it comes to child custody issues. Public policy dictates that a minor child’s biggest necessity is having a relationship and seeing both parents on a consistent basis.

Our state specifically addresses the reality that a service member – such as in Hurst’s case – may be deployed as part of his or her duties at any moment. Florida law protects parents in the following ways:

  • Prohibiting the court from modifying a current parenting plan and timesharing agreement while the military parent is temporarily deployed. A temporary change may be made if the best interest of the child can be established; and
  • Should a military service member be deployed in excess of 90 days, he or she can legally designate a family member as the caretaker of the child or children. This designation must be made in writing and given to the other parent at least 10 days prior to deployment and is limited to a stepparent, grandparent or other relative by marriage.

Child Custody Help in Orlando

If you or someone you know is facing child custody issues with a former spouse – or has any other family law issues that need to be addressed – contact the law office of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. Because an informative decision is the best decision when it comes to matters relating to your children, learning about your rights, obligations, and time limits under the law is essential. Parenting is hard enough without child custody battles; make sure you have a sympathetic, yet aggressive Orlando attorney on your side to help you fight for your children. Call 407-521-7171 to schedule your initial consultation.

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