The 16 year old daughter wants to live with her grandparents because of her mother's alcohol abuse and violent behavior when drunk as well as her step dad. Her grandparents are also afraid that the granddaughter could be harmed due to drinking while driving by the mother. The granddaughter and grandparents want her to come and live with them as her legal guardians. All parties live in the state of Florida. What do they need to do?
You inquire about two entirely different procedures. The first, emancipation of a minor, which means the minor is deemed to be an adult for most purposes, and which is handled in the family court. If this is what you are interested in, you will have to repost your question under the "family law" practice area to get answers from family law attorneys versed in this subject.
The other is guardianship. This is very complicated under the few facts you present. If the mother of the child is agreeable to the child living with the grandparents, she can either execute an appropriate power of attorney, which an estate planning attorney can do for her (and which should be coordinated with the school officials in your area to be sure the documents has the appropriate language for their purposes), or they can do what is called "Temporary Custody of Minor Child by Extended Family." This would also be done by a family law attorney. If the mother is not agreeable, guardianship would be the second part of a two-part process. First, in the family law court again, the grandparents will have to get an order that the mother is unfit, which needs to be coordinated through DCF. Then, or at the same time, the grandparents can file for guardianship, which can be coordinated with DCF, as well. The order finding the mother unfit will come from the family law court, and the guardianship will come from the guardianship (probate) court. I suggest that the grandparents consult with a family law attorney to discuss these issues and determine the best course of action.
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