Florida Court Discusses Temporary Child Custody Determinations

When a married couple with minor children decides to divorce, they will typically have to determine their parental rights. Making custody determinations can be a lengthy process for Florida courts, and in most instances, they will issue temporary custody orders prior to delivering final orders. As explained in a recent Florida opinion, the courts have ample leeway when making temporary custody orders, and it is rare for them to be overturned. If you need help with a custody dispute, it is in your best interest to talk to a Miami child custody lawyer at your earliest convenience.

Factual History and Procedural Setting

it is reported that following a three-day evidentiary hearing, the trial court issued a temporary order that mandated that her eldest child was to continue attending military school. The order also specified that the father would maintain 100% timesharing of the three minor children, with the mother having no contact with them until the final trial.  The mother appealed.

Temporary Child Custody Determinations

On appeal, the mother argued that the trial court violated her right to due process and abused its discretion when making the temporary custody determinations. The court rejected this argument and affirmed the trial court ruling.

In doing so, the court noted that temporary child custody and timesharing determinations during an ongoing divorce proceeding were subject to a different legal standard than final orders, and trial judges have broad discretion when making such decisions. The court went on to explain that the goal of temporary orders is to promote stability for children during the divorce process while final custody decisions are pending.

In the subject case, the trial court considered evidence and testimony from both parties, assessing the best interests of the minor children. It heard arguments regarding military school, timesharing, and the children’s well-being from both the mother and the father, as well as input from the guardian ad litem and a report. After a comprehensive review, the trial court concluded that maintaining the current arrangements was in the best interests of the children at the present time, and this decision was supported by substantial evidence. As such, the court found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in issuing the temporary orders.

The court also rejected the mother’s contention that the trial court erroneously burdened her with showing a substantial, material, unanticipated change in circumstances that warranted a modification. Thus, the court affirmed the trial court ruling.

Meet with an Experienced Miami Attorney

The Florida courts’ sole concern when making decisions with regard to both temporary and final custody orders is what is in the best interest of the children involved. If you have questions regarding what measures you can take to protect your parental rights and your child’s best interests, it is advisable to consult an attorney. The experienced Miami child custody lawyers of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A. can assess your case and help you determine what courts of action to take in pursuit of a favorable outcome. You can reach us at 800-596-0579 or use the form online to set up a meeting.