There's nothing more heartbreaking than an involuntary separation from your children. Most parents love their children in an intense and powerful way. However, what feels like a healthy and loving relationship can end up misinterpreted by other people. Sometimes, parents in Florida who truly love their children still lose custody of their children to the state.
For the parents who have gone through a juvenile dependency hearing or otherwise lost parental rights, the important thing to remember is that you still have options. You can seek to regain custody of your children, and there are certain steps you can take that will improve your chances of success.
Comply with requests made by the courts
You may not feel like you need to take anger management courses or a parenting class, but if the courts ordered it, you should do what they ask. Even if you resent the interference in your family and life and believe that the people involved made a mistake, completing any therapy or educational course that the court orders can help you. It shows the court that you're willing to make the effort and may assuage any concerns that remain about your parenting.
Don't just show up for therapy or courses. Do your best to actively participate and learn what you can about the topic. Making an effort will not only look good to the courts. It could help you benefit from the courses.
Address issues like substance abuse and document your efforts
Going to support group meetings is a great way to stay strong and sober. However, in the eyes of the family courts, that may not be enough. You will need more than a chip to prove that you're committed to staying sober and regaining custody of your children. Addiction is a common issue in dependence cases, and showing your efforts toward recovery can improve your case to regain custody.
Completing an in-patient rehab program is one option. Attending regular therapy sessions with an addiction counselor is another. There are services and therapies that can help with every kind of addiction, from gambling to alcohol.
Stay focused on the best needs of the children
When addressing the courts and other professionals about your desire to regain custody, focus on your children's best interests. It's important for kids to have a close relationship with their parents. So long as you have the ability to provide a stable home and have addressed any safety concerns, your children will be healthiest and happiest in their own home.
Do your best to stay calm, and remind yourself that everything you're doing is for your kids. While taking parenting classes over unfounded allegations or attending alcohol therapy over an occasional glass of wine may feel frustrating, working with the courts in the interests of your children is a wise choice when seeking to regain custody of your children.