Articles Posted in Custody/Time-Sharing

In Florida child custody cases, the courts will always rule in the best interest of the child. In some instances, this means that they will grant temporary custody to an extended family member rather than either of the biological parents. The courts can only do so if certain requirements are met, though, as demonstrated in a recent ruling issued by a Florida court. If you need assistance protecting your parental rights, it is prudent to confer with a Miami child custody attorney about your options.

Procedural and Factual Background

It is reported that the mother of a minor child sought to challenge a trial court order that granted immediate exclusive custody and care of the minor child to the child’s maternal grandmother. This case revolved around the issue of whether the grandmother qualified for temporary custody under Chapter 751 of the Florida Statutes in 2022. Chapter 751 permits extended family members to pursue temporary custody of minors under specific circumstances. Specifically, it allows proceedings to be initiated either by any extended family member, if they have the signed and notarized consent of the child’s legal parents. It also allows any member of the extended family to initiate proceedings if they care for the child full time, taking on the role of the substitute parent and with whom the child is presently living.

Under Florida law, people who marry someone with a child will often embrace the role of being that child’s step-parent. Unless they formally adopt the child, though, they will not have any parental rights in the event of a divorce, as demonstrated in a recent Florida ruling. If you have questions about how you can protect your parental rights in a custody dispute, it is prudent to confer with a Miami child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

Factual and Procedural Background:

It is reported that the wife challenged a final judgment of dissolution of marriage that granted equal timesharing and shared parental responsibility of her minor child to the husband. The situation was complicated by the fact that the husband was not the biological or adoptive parent of the child, and there had been no finding of parental unfitness or harm to the child. The background of the case revealed that the wife initially identified her then-partner as the father of the minor child on the birth certificate. Later, the wife and the husband married, and during their marriage, she obtained a judgment disestablishing the putative father’s paternity of the minor child. However, the husband neither adopted the minor child nor sought to establish paternity.

Allegedly, in 2021, the husband filed a petition to dissolve the marriage and asserted that there were three minor children born to the parties, including the minor child. He sought equal timesharing and shared parental responsibility. The husband identified himself as the “father” of the minor child in an affidavit and mentioned that paternity had been disestablished in 2018. The trial court conducted a hearing and ultimately rendered a judgment granting equal timesharing and shared parental responsibility. The wife appealed this decision. Continue reading ›

In divorce actions involving minor children, the courts will typically determine parental responsibility and time-sharing rights. Regardless of whether a parent agrees with the custody determinations made by a court, they must abide by them; otherwise, they may be sanctioned. This was demonstrated in a recent Florida case in which the court granted the father compensatory time-sharing days due to the mother’s refusal to comply with the custody order. If you have questions about your options with regard to protecting your parental rights, it is recommended that you consult a Miami child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is reported that the mother and father had two minor children before divorcing. The final judgment of dissolution included a parenting plan. The father filed a contempt motion against the mother, alleging that she had denied him timesharing with their younger child on multiple occasions. In his motion, the father requested compensatory timesharing for the missed days. After an evidentiary hearing, the court granted the father’s request and awarded him compensatory timesharing for thirteen overnights that were denied to him. The mother appealed, arguing that the court violated her right to due process by providing relief beyond what the father sought in his motion.

Sanctions for Violating a Parenting Plan

On appeal, the court rejected the mother’s reasoning. In doing so, the court explained that if a court grants a remedy that a party did not request, it constitutes a violation of due process. As such, the trial court would have violated the mother’s due process rights if it granted the father greater compensatory timesharing than he sought. Contrary to the mother’s assertions, however, the court found that the trial court did not do so. Continue reading ›

When issuing custody orders, the Florida courts’ paramount concern is what is in the best interest of the child. Circumstances can change, however, and an order that was once appropriate may no longer serve a child’s interests. While the courts can modify child custody orders, absent an emergency, they cannot do so without providing notice to both parents, as discussed in a recent ruling issued in a Florida custody case. If you want to know what measures you can take to protect your parental rights, you should speak to a Miami child custody lawyer as soon as possible.

History of the Case

It is reported that the mother had a child in 2013. The father’s paternity was subsequently established via a paternity suit. The court issued a parenting plan specifying that the child would primarily live with her mother but would also spend significant time with her father. The court ordered the father to pay child support as well. In 2021, the mother requested the appointment of a parenting coordinator to help resolve disagreements between the parents regarding the child. The father agreed to the appointment. If the coordinator couldn’t resolve the issues, they had the authority to ask the court for a status hearing.

Allegedly, during one of these status conferences, the parenting coordinator requested direction from the court regarding the father’s ability to speak to the child over the telephone. The court then issued an order that placed the child in the temporary custody of the father, prohibited the mother from contacting the child, and modified the timesharing rights and communication requirements established in the final judgment of paternity. The mother was not provided prior notice of these changes. As such, she argued that the court violated her due process rights. She moved for reconsideration, but her motion was denied without a hearing. She then appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida, the courts may terminate parental rights if they believe a child faces a risk of harm if they remain in the parent’s custody. In some instances, however, the courts may find cause to terminate a parent’s rights even if a child is a newborn, as demonstrated recently in a Florida opinion. If you are at risk of losing your parental rights, it is smart to talk to a Miami child custody lawyer about your options.

History of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father, who already had two older children, had a third child. However, both older children were placed in out-of-home care due to an ongoing dependency case. The parents had a significant history with the relevant department concerning the well-being of their children. Specifically, the oldest child, when she was six months old, was removed from the parents’ care due to injuries, including a spiral arm fracture, bruising, and soft tissue damage. The parents denied causing these injuries, offering an explanation that medical professionals found implausible. As a result, the oldest child was deemed dependent. The parents’ second child was sheltered shortly after birth, and the parents agreed to the second child’s dependency status.

Allegedly, since being placed in out-of-home care, both older children have remained separated from their parents, as the parents have not fulfilled the necessary conditions for reunification. They are only allowed supervised visitation with their children. The dependency cases for the older children are still ongoing. When the third child was born, the department removed the child from the parents’ care and initiated proceedings to place the child in out-of-home care as well. However, the trial court denied the shelter petition for the third child, stating that although the parents had a history of involvement with the department, there was no imminent harm identified for the third child. The department appealed. Continue reading ›

In Florida, when a couple with minor children divorces, the courts must not only determine the parents’ rights with regard to child support and visitation, but also which parent can make important decisions about how the child will be raised. As explained in a recent Florida ruling, the law dictates that absent evidence that doing so would harm the child in question, the courts must grant equal parental responsibility rights. If you are dealing with a custody dispute, it is wise to talk to a Miami child custody lawyer about what action you can take to safeguard your interests as soon as possible.

Legal Background

It is alleged that in August 2019, the wife initiated legal proceedings to dissolve her marriage. At the time, the couple had two minor children; one is still a minor, while the other has reached the age of majority. In May 2021, the trial court issued a final judgment officially ending the marriage, deferring the resolution of various other matters associated with the dissolution. Subsequently, in 2021, the wife modified her initial petition to request exclusive parental responsibility for the minor child. A consent partial judgment was later reached by both parties and officially sanctioned by the trial court in March 2022. This judgment granted joint parental responsibility.

It is reported that the unresolved issues, primarily involving child support and visitation arrangements, were then brought before the court for trial. The trial court directed both parties to adhere to the previously agreed-upon consent partial judgment and granted joint parental responsibility for the minor child, affirming the shared responsibility aspect of the consent partial judgment. The court also incorporated a comprehensive parenting plan that stipulated shared parental responsibility but granted the wife ultimate decision-making authority concerning the child’s education, academics, and non-emergency healthcare in the event of disagreement between the parties. The husband appealed. Continue reading ›

In a Florida child custody case, the court’s driving concern is what is in the best interest of the child that is the subject of the suit. The court will look at numerous factors to determine what custody arrangement will best benefit the child’s welfare and well-being. The courts generally are not permitted to analyze factors on a prospective basis, but there are some exceptions, as discussed by a recent Florida opinion issued in a custody matter in which the father appealed the trial court ruling. If you need assistance protecting your parental rights, it is advisable to confer with a Miami child custody lawyer regarding your options.

History of the Case

It is reported that the mother and the father were parties to a custody action to determine parental rights with regard to their minor child. The trial court issued a judgment determining timesharing and parental rights. The judgment also permitted the mother to relocate to another city in Florida with the minor child when the child began attending school and allowed for a modification of time-sharing rights due to the relocation.

Allegedly, the father appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in issuing a judgment that allowed for an automatic modification of timesharing rights in the future, as it relied on a prospective-based analysis, which Florida law prohibits. Continue reading ›

The Florida courts typically take great care when developing parenting plans to ensure that any division of custody or timesharing rights is in the best interest of the subject children. As such, if a party wants to alter a parenting plan ordered by a court, they generally must demonstrate that a substantial and continuing change in circumstances has occurred. Recently, a Florida court examined what constitutes a sufficient change in circumstances to warrant a modification in a custody case. If you share custody of your child, and you or your co-parent want to alter the parenting plan, it is wise to consult a Miami child custody attorney to determine your options.

History of the Case

Allegedly, the parties married in 1995. They had two children before the wife filed a petition for dissolution in 2011. The court first conducted a trial on timesharing and parenting issues and then conducted a trial on remaining matters. During the first trial, the wife offered evidence that the husband was diagnosed as a pedophile. Accordingly, she sought sole parental responsibility and asked that the husband have supervised timesharing.

Reportedly, the husband admitted he was attracted to underage boys but opposed the motion’s parenting plan. Based on the admission and other evidence presented in the case, the court found that it was in the children’s best interest to create a timesharing plan that increased the father’s rights upon completion of certain tasks. The court also created other measures for the safety of the children, including the requirement that the father attend therapy. Continue reading ›

Generally, when Florida residents are engaged in disagreements over parental rights, they will file a custody action in the county in which they or their co-parent resides. If a Florida court can validly exercise jurisdiction in a custody case and issues an initial custody determination, the court’s jurisdiction will typically continue until the parties move out of the state or the court determines that the parties no longer have a connection to the state. As discussed in a recent Florida opinion issued in a custody matter, the argument that a forum is inconvenient is not a sufficient basis for relinquishing jurisdiction to another state. If you are involved in a custody dispute, it is wise to confer with a Miami divorce attorney regarding your rights as soon as possible.

Procedural Background of the Case

It is alleged that the mother’s and father’s marriage was dissolved via a final judgment issued by a Florida court. The judgment also determined their rights with regard to custody and timesharing of their minor children. The father is a member of the military and is a Florida resident, but he is stationed outside of Florida.

It is reported that after obtaining the court’s permission, the mother moved to Idaho with the children while the dissolution was pending. The final dissolution order confirmed her relocation. The mother then filed a motion in an Idaho court to amend the custody agreement. She also filed a motion with the Florida court that issued the final judgment in the dissolution proceeding to transfer jurisdiction of the custody case to the Idaho court, in which she filed her motion on the grounds that Florida had become an inconvenient forum. The Florida court denied her motion, and she appealed. Continue reading ›

Generally, people file family law actions in the court situated in the county in which they reside. If they subsequently move, though, there may be a question as to whether the court can continue to exercise jurisdiction over their case. Recently, a Florida court explained when courts within the state have the right to preside over custody cases in a matter in which it rejected the mother’s argument that the court no longer had jurisdiction over her case. If you need assistance with a custody matter, it is smart to talk to a Miami child custody attorney to determine what measures you can take to protect your interests.

History of the Case

Reportedly, the mother and the father married and had two children, both of whom were born in Florida. In 2015, they divorced. The trial court entered a final dissolution of the marriage which, among other things, ratified the parenting plan established by the parties and stated that the trial court had jurisdiction over the matter. A dependency case was opened in 2019, and the dependency court placed the children with the mother in Texas temporarily.

It is alleged that in 2020, the father filed a petition to modify parental responsibility and the parenting plan in Florida. The dependency court awarded the father visitation rights and relinquished jurisdiction over the matter. The mother then moved to dismiss the father’s petition for lack of jurisdiction. The trial court denied the mother’s motion, and she appealed. Continue reading ›