Our Texas readers understand how difficult it can be to obtain custody of a child after a divorce. When a parent is facing charges of child neglect and still wants to gain custody of a child, the odds are against her. When determining child custody, courts are governed by the child's best interests, and having a neglectful mother is not in a child's best interest. A Florida woman who left her 1-year-old home with a 5-year-old wants her baby back - despite the criminal charges against her.
The 24-year-old was arrested on Sept. 4 - the same day the incident took place - and was released from jail the next day on bond. The woman, who has two other children, lost custody of her children when the state awarded the grandparents temporary custody.
The incident took place when an employee from the Department of Children and Families saw the girls playing in the street outside their home. They were chasing a dog in a busy area. When the employee went to the woman's home, she was not there. She finally showed up an hour later and was arrested.
According to the employee, the home was in deplorable condition. The children were dirty and the refrigerator was full of mold and had an awful smell. This was not the first time this incident occurred. The woman also left her children home for hours in January 2012 and was arrested at that time as well.
The woman has two older boys, ages 5 and 6, who are also with their grandmother at this time. Another court hearing will be held shortly. The woman broke several city code violations and was given notice to clean up her home within 10 days. Two dogs were taken from the home.
Should the woman be allowed to have partial custody of her children? A knowledgeable lawyer will be able to come up with a solid defense as to why a mother accused of neglect - not just once, but multiple times - should be considered a fit mother for her three children.
WSVN 7 News, "Mother of child found home alone fights for custody" No author given, Sep. 06, 2013