Though not in Florida, one recent child custody matter in another state demonstrates how complex these matters can become - especially in light of a number of social and cultural considerations. One state's Supreme Court ruled that the best interests for two young girls would be best served if they remained in the care and custody of their adoptive parents rather than be turned over to their biological grandparents.
This matter was complicated by the fact that the girls and their grandparents are black while their adoptive parents are white. Also, the adoptive children live in an urban area in a northern state (the state where this decision was tried) while the grandparents live in a rural area a long ways away in a southern state. The decision thus raised a number of questions concerning race, culture and identify relative to where the children's best interests lie.
How much culture and race should actually play a role in this case is debatable. The children in question are ages 2 and 3-years old and have likely only been minimally touched regarding culture so far in their short lives. Yet the attorney for the grandparents argued that it is impossible to ignore these sorts of considerations when it comes to the granting of child custody decisions.
Family law attorneys and their clients will often have to balance these sorts of considerations in almost every child custody matter. How a child is raised and how a child should be raised should always be the primary concern. This often means that both parties will be required to have input in the child's upbringing.
Source: Star Tribune, "Plymouth foster parents, not family, get custody of kids," by Abby Simons, March 27, 2013
- Learn more about care and custody considerations for children at our Plantation, Florida lawyers' webpage.