Orange County Family Court’s Gentler Approach

Appearing in family court is not something everyone wishes to do. In some cases, family court can be a positive experience. In instances of adoption, for example, parties may have voluntarily chosen to appear. In other situations, such as those that result in the removal of children from a home, family court can be a stressful experience.

Orange County has an initiative that aims to reunite children with their parents rather than permanently remove them. Dubbed B.A.B.Y. Court, Building a Better You is working to provide children a bit of stability. A team of court employees looks to either reunite children with their parents or find them permanent homes. Parenting classes, therapy sessions and increased visitations all help to make the dream of reuniting families a reality.

Overall, the goal, says Circuit Judge Alicia Latimore, is to eliminate the repeated cycle of abuse. The program was launched in April 2015, and many courts across the state have followed the example. Since its implementation, nine children have found permanent homes and nine more cases are proceeding through the court.

Rather than end with reunification, programs continue after the children are secure in their homes. There is aftercare support along with additional therapies. While the program is a healthy, positive one, it can only handle up to 10 cases at any given time due to financial constraints. Officials say that the average cost per child for the program is $10,000.

If you need assistance with child custody in Orlando, reach out to our team of experienced family law attorneys. We will review the details of your unique circumstances and advise you of your legal options. Call today to schedule your consultation.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.