Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Grandmother Ordered to Take Additional Psychological Test; It Must Occur before She Can Regain Custody of Her Grandchildren, a Judge Says

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Grandmother Ordered to Take Additional Psychological Test; It Must Occur before She Can Regain Custody of Her Grandchildren, a Judge Says

Article excerpt

Byline: DANA TREEN

YULEE - A 73-year-old Nassau County grandmother who spent more than four months in jail rather than bring her grandchildren back from France must undergo another psychological evaluation in her bid to regain custody of the youngsters.

Mary Ann Barcaro and her husband have had custody of the two grandchildren since 2002, but a decision to take them to Europe in 2006 cost them that guardianship when a judge said they were violating the visitation rights of the children's mother.

At a hearing Wednesday, Barcaro apologized to Circuit Judge Robert Foster for "the inconvenience I have caused."

Barcaro came back alone from Europe in April after nearly a year away and was jailed by Foster for violating the visitation order. Still, she refused to bring the children back, insisting she would not do so unless she was assured custody.

She remained in the Nassau County jail until August, when she relented and Zachary Barcaro, 9, and his sister, Melody Barcaro, 8, flew back from France with their grandfather. For now, under Foster's order, the children remain in the care of acquaintances of the Barcaros. They were not present in court Wednesday.

Wednesday, Foster said he would review the case again Nov. 16 after Barcaro undergoes a new psychological evaluation.

The judge did not say how he might rule but said her attitude would be an important part of the assessment.

"Frankly that is all anybody is waiting on is a favorable report," he told her.

Barcaro said she was encouraged.

"He was favorable toward me," she said after the hearing.

She said she believes she will regain custody, perhaps at the hearing next week.

It is not the first psychological reports Foster has asked for on Barcaro and the youngsters.

After initial evaluations, child advocates with the state said they were concerned the two children had been swayed against their mother. …

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