Viewing entries in
Child Custody

Modification of Florida child custody order inappropriate as sanction for contempt with no pending petition or finding of best interest

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

When a party fails to follow a Florida child custody order, he or she can be held in contempt of court. Sanctions may include community service to be performed by the parent not in compliance and make-up time-sharing for the other parent. However, time-sharing cannot be modified as a sanction absent certain factors as stated in the case Andre v. Abreu, 3D17-1747 (Fla. 3d DCA March 27, 2019).

Contempt of Florida child custody order when child refuses to go with other parent during time-sharing exchange

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

What is a parent supposed to do if a child refuses to go with the other parent during a court-ordered visitation exchange? This situation arose in the case Akre-Deschamps v. Smith, 2D17-4837 (Fla. 2d DCA March 20, 2019) after which the mother was held in contempt when the parties’ daughter refused to board a plane with the father during a time-sharing exchange.

Supervised visits need a plan and authority to determine timesharing cannot be delegated

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Florida family courts have ruled repeatedly that a parent cannot be ordered to have supervised timesharing without specified steps that lead to unsupervised timesharing. Additionally, a court cannot delegate timesharing decisions to one parent. These holdings are found in the recent appellate case Lightsey v. Davis, 4D18-2848 (Fla. 4th DCA March 6, 2019).

Miami child custody remedy did not amount to temporary relocation order in recent case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

In order for a parent to relocate, a parent must comply with the mandates of Florida Statute Chp. 61.13001. Specifically the parent must obtain the written permission of the other parent or obtain a court order allowing relocation. In the case Allende v. Veloz, 3D18-10 (Fla. 3d DCA February 20, 2019) the mother did not follow the statute and obtain the oral consent of the father to move from Miami to Orlando with the parties’ child.

Florida child custody: reversal of contempt order where directives not clear and definite

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

A parent’s failure to follow a Florida parenting plan may result in that parent being held in contempt of court. But in order to be held in contempt, a final judgment must clearly and definitively direct a party regarding his or her obligations under the order. We see this principle at play in the recent appellate case Cancino v. Cancino, 3D17-601 (Fla. 3d DCA February 13, 2019).

Florida child custody: agreed parenting plans subject to approval by court

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Although Florida parenting plans signed by both parents are considered enforceable contracts, they are subject to approval by the court. If a parent raises a concern about a parenting plan after it is signed, but before the court enters an order ratifying the plan, the court must consider the best interest of the child.

Florida child custody: When drug or alcohol addiction is an issue

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Drug and/or alcohol abuse can be taken into account in Florida child custody cases. If it is not in the best interest of children to have unsupervised visits with a drug or alcohol addicted parents, the court may order supervised visitation until there is improvement with the parent’s problem. When a parent shows that he or she is managing the addiction, the court can modify a parenting plan, as seen in the case McLendon v. D’Amico, 1D18-2648 (Fla. 1st DCA 2019).

Florida child custody order must be based on best interest of children rather than punishment of a parent

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

A Florida child custody order must be based on a consideration of the best interest of the child, giving weight to the factors listed in Florida Statute Chp. 61.13. Even if a parent’s behavior causes prejudice to the other parent, that behavior cannot be the basis for a court to order a child custody arrangement. This rule of law is exemplified in the case Parris v. Butler, 2D18-1932 (Fla. 2d DCA 2019).

Petition for custody by an extended relative in Florida

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Sometimes, children reside with caregivers other than their parents such as grandparents, aunts and adult siblings. In these cases, the caregiver usually needs a document that authorizes the caregiver to take actions on behalf of the child such as enrolling the child in school, obtaining medical information, etc. These petitions are most easily granted when the parents agree to the custody arrangement, but they are also possible when the parents do not agree.

Florida child custody: When a court grants relief not requested in a petition for modification

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

In order to modify a Florida parenting plan, a party must show a substantial change in circumstances that was not contemplated at the time of entry of the parenting plan. A court has much less discretion in modifying a parenting plan than it does when initially creating one. The main components of Florida parenting plans are timesharing and parental responsibility. In a case in which the mother sought to remove the father’s ultimate decision-making authority concerning extracurricular activities, the court granted more relief than requested by the mother.

Specificity required in orders for psychological testing in Florida family law cases

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Child Custody 

Requesting a psychological evaluation in a Florida child custody case requires more than just a “hunch” that a parent has psychological issues. There must be competent and substantial evidence to support such a request, and it must be related to the best interest of the children involved. In the case Curtis v. Reinhardt, 243 So.3d 451 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018), an order requiring an accused sex offender to undergo psychosexual evaluation was appealed.

Florida child custody: Enforcing ambiguous terms of a Florida parenting plan

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

The way settlement agreements are worded is a very important part of Florida family law cases. If there is ambiguity in a settlement agreement, this can cause uncertainty, confusion and conflict in enforcement of the terms of an agreement. Take for example the case Wohlberg v. Conner, 234 So.3d 841 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018) in which the parties disagreed regarding the meaning of a part of their parenting plan which controlled timesharing.

How Florida family courts deal with multi-state child custody litigation

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) is a codified set of rules which has been adopted by 49 states in the United States. Essentially, it is a set of rules these states agree to follow when it comes to child custody cases so that contradicting rulings are not made in cases when parties move to different states or try to file cases in multiple states. One appellate case shows us how the the UCCJEA is applied in a multi-jurisdiction case.

Required language in a Florida child custody order granting decision-making authority to one parent

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

A parent’s right to make decisions affecting the welfare of a child is considered to be so important in Florida family law that there is a presumption that equal decision-making authority for both parents is in the best interest of the child. This is called shared parental responsibility. However, under certain circumstances, a Florida family court will award sole decision-making authority to one parent.

Requesting a psychological evaluation in your Florida child custody case

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Many parties to Florida child custody cases want to know, “Can I have the other parent undergo a psychological evaluation?” The answer to this question is the classic lawyer response: It depends. Florida law relies on a two-part analysis to determine if such an evaluation is warranted: (1) The examination must be related to a matter in controversy and (2) the party requesting the exam must show good cause exists for it.

What if you were denied court-ordered holiday timesharing?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

During the holidays, some parents unfortunately find themselves in the middle of nasty child custody issues which derail even court ordered timesharing. Here’s what you may want to consider if you are one of these parents.

Analysis of the standard for modification of a Florida parenting plan

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Life is constantly moving and changing. So it is no surprise that parties find the need to modify their Florida parenting plan after it is entered. In order to modify a parenting plan in Florida, a party seeking to do so must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances which was not contemplated at the time of the final judgment. While this standard may appear clear cut, there is sometimes confusion in what constitutes a substantial change as shown in the recent case Puhl v. Puhl, 4D18-365 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).

Florida child custody: Standard for relocation cases

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Relocation cases are among the most difficult cases to decide because the decision will affect one parent’s usual access to a child. In the recent appellate case Chalmers v. Chalmers, 4D18-2246 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018), the mother appealed the court’s decision to grant the father’s petition for relocation.