Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

When are supervised visits ordered in a Florida child custody case? This type of timesharing restricts the affected parent to visits with his or her children only in the presence of a court-appointed supervisor or therapist. The purpose is to ensure the safety of the children and to address any issues that are a barrier to unsupervised visits. As we see in the recent appellate case Pierre v. Bueven, 3D18-1313 (Fla. 3d DCA June 6, 2019), a court order for supervised visits must include specific provisions.

The father appealed the trial court’s determinations regarding timesharing and parental responsibility in his paternity case. However, because no transcript of the proceeding was provided to the appellate court, the appellate court held, “[B]ecause there is no final hearing transcript, this Court is unable to determine whether the trial court stated, on the record, that unsupervised visitation with Pierre was in the child's best interests. Reversal is, therefore, not warranted as to the trial court's parental responsibility and time-sharing determinations.”

Florida law states, however, that despite the lack of a transcript, errors that are clear in the final judgment are reversible. The appellate court noted that the final judgment in this case provided for supervised timesharing for the father, but did not indicate how he could obtain unsupervised timesharing. The appellate court therefore reversed this portion of the order, holding, “Because, however, the final judgment fails to provide Pierre with the specific steps he must undertake in order to obtain unsupervised time-sharing with the minor child, we reverse that portion of the final judgment and remand to allow the trial court to identify those specific steps Pierre must undertake to obtain unsupervised time-sharing.”

Florida child custody cases involve the best interest of your child. Consult with a Miami child custody lawyer to determine the best way to proceed to protect that interest, which is undoubtedly also your interest.