Child custody can get very complicated, especially when both parents of a minor child are deceased. It doesn’t have to be a battle, but custody can easily become a storm of allegations and counter-allegations.
In the case of this Florida girl, Dad shot and killed Mom in 2007. Dad was sent to death row, and lives in solitary confinement at a Florida State Prison. But according to the Florida Department of Children and Families, his parental rights have not been terminated.
The little girl had been living with her maternal grandparents since Dad’s sentencing in 2011, up until recently, when she was removed from the home for probable cause of being endangered, and transferred to her paternal grandmother. More details and background are available in this original story in the Daytona Beach News-Journal.
This story is very public because of the grim backstory, but there are 100 variations on this theme every week. The Florida DCF and the judges and court personnel in the justice system work hard to find equitable outcomes in almost impossibly complicated situations.
There are many ways to smooth this process. A good family law attorney can work with opposing counsel to find options that are better for the child, and for the families involved. Make sure you get good legal representation.