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Child Custody

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.

Getting a passport for a child when one parent is absent or refuses to cooperate

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Getting a passport for a minor child when you are no longer married to or are not in a relationship with the other parent is a concern many parents have in Florida child custody cases. Depending on who is listed on the child’s birth certificate, you may be able to get a passport issued without the other parent’s participation.

Is a "best interest" finding necessary in a Florida child custody case?

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

Are 50-50 timesharing schedules standard in Florida? Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes does not contain a presumption that equal timesharing is in the best interest of a child. Timesharing is determined based on many factors such as the child’s routine, the parents’ work schedules, whether or not third party caretakers will be involved in the care of the child, and many more factors. When the parties agree to a 50-50 timesharing schedule, is the court required to find it is in the best interest of a child before ratifying the agreement by court order?

Florida child custody: Prohibited restrictions on travel in long-distance parenting plan

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

When two parents live in different states, a Florida parenting plan must take into account how the parties will handle travel in order to effectuate timesharing. Additionally, the parenting plan will specify how parties are able to travel within the United States and to foreign countries. In a recent appellate case R.B. v. B.T., 2D17-2587 (Fla. 2d DCA 2018), the father appealed an order that restricted his timesharing to only two locations, effectively denying him the right to travel outside of the country or to non-specified states with the parties’ child.

Drug and alcohol abuse in Florida child custody cases

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

When drug abuse is an issue in a Florida child custody case, the court may take certain measures to protect a child’s best interest. These measures include drug testing and restrictions on time-sharing, among others. In the recent appellate case Ryan v. Ryan, 3D18-1420 (Fla. 3d DCA 2018), the court considered a mother’s appeal of an order placing such restrictions on her timesharing.

Temporary relocation by agreement in Florida child custody cases

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

One appellate case decided earlier this year shows how the waters of Florida relocation cases can get “muddied” and are not always straight-forward. In Gimonge v. Gimonge, 5D17-2747 (Fla. 5th DCA 2018), the disagreement as to relocation resulted from the parties temporary agreement entered after a petition for dissolution of marriage was filed.

Allowable sanctions for contempt of a Florida child custody order

Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Custody

When a parent fails to follow a parenting plan, is found in contempt and still fails to follow the plan, what is a court to do? One appellate case talks about what a court is not allowed to do when sanctioning the non-compliant parent.