St. Petersburg, FL – There are a number of serious concerns about the safety of a child that may cause the government to intervene. Several laws in Florida address this possibility, and the government does terminate the custody rights of parents who have engaged in problematic behavior or have serious unresolved personal issues. This is done to promote the best interests of the child, which is a legal standard used in various types of family law cases which deal with minors. A parent who has to give custody to the other biological parent after a hearing may also be obligated to make child support payments

Parents in the process of dealing with custody issues may want to invest in the services of a lawyer who has experience in these matters to help obtain a favorable result.  

Prior instances of physical abuse

A parent with a history of abusing any child may have difficulty retaining legal custody of their children. This is a serious health and safety concern that the state examines when determining the fitness of a parent. A related problem may be domestic violence that involves any other family members.  

Substance abuse issues

Parents who have documented problems with drugs or alcohol may also face problems with finances, accountability, the daily responsibilities associated with parenting. Incidents such as criminal charges for drug possession or driving under the influence can be especially problematic. It is common for an opposing parent to bring up these kinds of issues during a hearing to try to obtain more custody time. 

Mental health problems

Courts can examine a person’s mental health status and the manner in which this can affect a relationship with a child. This can require an examination from a professional with experience in the field, who may then give their opinion in court as to whether the parent is fit to raise a child without major problems.  


If a parent essentially disappears or leaves a child with a relative for an extended period of time, it is likely that the courts will terminate the parent’s custody rights. A related problem is if the parent is going to be in prison for an extended period of time and unable to maintain any kind of meaningful relationship with the child.   

Help from a local family law firm

The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet is a trusted family law practice that serves local clients throughout the St. Petersburg area. An initial meeting with one of their attorneys is the best way to start the process of representation during a divorce, custody hearing, or other family court case. 

Firm contact info:

The Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet 

1901 Ulmerton Road, Suite 435, Clearwater, FL 33762 



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