Child Time Sharing When You Are a Florida Military Family
A military family who has gone through a divorce faces unique circumstances in addition to confronting the legal system that may vary from state to state. If you are a member of the military – or are a military spouse or ex-spouse – it is important to be aware of these special issues to be fully protected during and after the divorce process. For this reason, it is essential to obtain a competent Orlando child custody attorney if you or someone you know is facing child time sharing issues.
Below is some basic information on how child time sharing differs under Florida law when it comes to military spouses.
Child Custody & Timesharing
Florida law requires the court to consider “the best interest of the child” when determining family law cases. Public policy dictates that a minor child’s biggest necessity is having a relationship and seeing both parents on a consistent basis.
Military personnel often receive a permanent change in station (PCS). In fact, this often happens after four to seven years on the same military base. More often than not, the service member is not provided with the choice of when or where the relocation may occur. Accordingly, any existing time-sharing plan or schedule that has been agreed upon with a former spouse will be derailed. At best, a service member can coordinate a long-distance time sharing schedule with his or her spouse as soon as orders have been received.
Should the service member intend on taking his or her children when there is a PCS, he or she is still under the obligation to file the relocation with the court. Under Florida law, a court must hear a temporary relocation request within 30 days of filing. A final hearing must be accommodated no less than 90 days from the date of filing. The burden of proof that must be met by a requesting military parent is the same as any other parent attempting to relocate with children of divorce – best interest of the child by a preponderance of the evidence. Should the requesting military parent meet this standard, the burden shifts to the non-relocating parent to show by the same standard that the relocation is not in the best interest of the child.
Moreover, beyond PCS a service member may be deployed as part of his or her duties at any moment. Florida law protects parents in just this situation in two key ways:
- The court is prohibited from modifying a current parenting plan and timesharing agreement while the military parent is temporarily deployed. If the best interest of the child can be established, a temporary change may be made; and
- When a military service member is deployed in excess of 90 days, he or she can legally designate a family member as the caretaker of the child. This designation, however, is limited to a stepparent, grandparent or other relative by marriage. This designation must be made in writing and given to the other parent no less than 10 days prior to deployment.
Orlando Child Time Sharing Assistance
An informative decision is the best decision when it comes to matters relating to your children. For this reason, reach out to a knowledgeable and skilled Orlando child time sharing attorney to learn about your rights, obligations, and time limits under the law. Call the experienced attorneys at Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today(407) 521-7171 to schedule your initial consultation.