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A panel of experts was recently assembled to look into a growing problem for families in Florida. Children in Florida and several other states are having trouble gaining access to proper mental health care. While one might think a family that cannot afford such care would be given assistance from the state, this is not always the case. Some parents now feel forced to relinquish child custody so that their children can get the care they need. 

The investigation, sparked by a Florida lawmaker, has revealed that many desperate families are facing a gut-wrenching choice. Parents attest that while they have a child in the home that is in grave need of mental health care, the parents may not qualify for assistance even if they truly can’t afford such services. These parents say that even if their child has had multiple documented mental health emergencies, they cannot provide the care recommended by professionals. 

In a last ditch effort to help a suffering child, some parents have decided that the only way to do so is to relinquish custody of the child to the state. If a parent takes this kind of action, the state then becomes the guardian of the child and will provide the necessary care. However, legally speaking, doing so means that a parent has chosen to abandon his or her child, making it very difficult or impossible to regain custody of a child they love in the future. 

Parents often face difficult choices, and when it comes to child custody, it makes sense to consult a knowledgeable attorney. An attorney can help make sure a parent understands the legal situation he or she is facing, and help the parent make an informed decision in the best interest of the child. A parent wishing to establish, modify or enforce a child custody order will have to do so in court, and having a attorney by one’s side is often crucial.