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Medical Neglect? Florida

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  • Medical Neglect? Florida

    My 12 year old was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome (a form of Autism) about a year or so ago. I moved from NY to FL and discovered his mother had not gotten him any treatment nor did she get him any therapy. She has physical custody and we otherwise have joint custody. He has been staying with me since I moved here and I have been taking him to a therapist. The therapist says that if he is not moved out of his school environment (to a smaller one - e.g. private school) he is a candidate for clinical depression. His mother does not spend his child support at all and places it in a bank account. I pay her child support, I buy his school clothes, I pay for his bowling league and am the only parent who got him entered in extracurriculars. I will be moving from the city and possibly from the state - she constantly interferes with my parenting. If she refuses to continue his therapy and send him to a private school (using my child support to do so), would this constitute "medical neglect" and allow me to petition for a change in custody - especially given that I may leave the state?

  • #2

    Website for Statutes:
    Adoption: Title VI, Chapter 63
    Child Protection: Title V, Chapter 39, parts I through III
    Child Welfare: Title V, Chapters 39, parts IV through XIII


    Website for Administrative Code:
    Note: See Chapter 65, Sections B-5, B-6, C-7 through C-19, and C-24

    Website for Agency Policies:

    Child Abuse and Neglect

    Physical Abuse
    Citation: § 39.01

    Abuse means any willful act or threatened act that results in any physical, mental, or sexual injury or harm that causes or is likely to cause the child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired.
    Harm to a child’s health or welfare can occur when any person inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child physical, mental, or emotional injury, and can include:
    • Purposely giving a child poison, alcohol, drugs, or other substances that substantially affect the child’s behavior, motor coordination, or judgment or that result in sickness or internal injury
    • Inappropriate or excessively harsh discipline
    • Exposure to a controlled substance or alcohol
    • Engaging in violent behavior that demonstrates a wanton disregard for the presence of a child and could reasonably result in serious injury to the child

    Citation: § 39.01

    Neglect occurs when:
    • A child is deprived of, or is allowed to be deprived of, necessary food, clothing, shelter, or medical treatment.
    • A child is permitted to live in an environment when such deprivation or environment causes a child’s physical, mental, or emotional health to be significantly impaired or to be in danger of being significantly impaired.
    • Neglect of a child includes acts or omissions.
    • Harm to a child’s health or welfare can occur by leaving a child without adult supervision or arrangement appropriate for the child’s age or mental or physical condition.

    Emotional Abuse
    Citation: § 39.01
    • Mental injury means an injury to the intellectual or psychological capacity of a child as evidenced by a discernible and substantial impairment in the ability to function within the normal range of performance and behavior.

    AbandonmentCitation: § 39.01

    Harm to a child can occur when any person abandons a child.

    Standards for Reporting
    Citation: § 39.01
    • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted
    • Negligently fails
    • Willful or threatened act

    Persons Responsible for the ChildCitation: § 39.01
    • Caregiver means the parent, legal custodian, adult household member, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare.
    • Other person responsible for a child’s welfare includes:
    • The child’s legal guardian, legal custodian, or foster parent
    • An employee of a private school, public or private child daycare center, residential home, institution, facility, or agency
    • Any other person legally responsible for the child’s welfare in a residential setting
    • An adult sitter or relative entrusted with a child’s care

    Citation: § 39.01
    • Corporal discipline of a child by a parent does not in itself constitute abuse when it does not result in harm to the child.
    • It shall not be considered neglect if failure to provide for the child is caused primarily by financial inability unless actual services for relief have been offered to and rejected by the parent.
    • A parent legitimately practicing religious beliefs in accordance with a recognized church or religious organization who does not provide specific medical treatment for a child shall not, for that reason alone, be considered a negligent parent.
    • Such an exception does not preclude a court from ordering medical services or other treatment to be provided, when the health of the child so requires.

    In my opinion you might be able to make a motion for change of custody based on neglect. I hope all works out, but I sure wouldn't move until it is resolved.
    Last edited by Ohio "Step" Mom; 01-08-2007, 06:14 AM.
    Don't listen to a word I say because ya know I've gotta be crazy to be a Brown's fan.


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