Posts

Florida Child Custody, Military Service, and Grandparents’ Rights

If a parent who is the subject of a Florida child custody order is activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service, that military parent may be able to designate the child’s grandparents to care for the child in his or her absence.

Related: Florida Grandparents’ Rights and Collaborative Divorce

Florida Statutes section 61.13002(2) states that, if a military parent so desires, a grandparent can take over that parent’s time-sharing schedule under certain circumstances.  The activation, deployment, or temporary assignment must be ordered for more than 90 days and materially affect the military parent’s ability to exercise his or her time-sharing rights.  The military parent must notify the other parent of the designation in writing.   The written notice must be provided to the other parent at least 10 days before the grandparent is to take over the military parent’s time-sharing.

Read more

Private Child Custody Proceedings: Florida Collaborative Practice

When people are seeking to gain child custody rights in Florida – whether through divorce, paternity, establishment of parenting plan, grandparent custody, or other proceedings – the first step they usually take is file a petition with the Clerk of the Court.

Generally speaking, this is a mistake.

By filing a petition, they are entering into the public court system which pits mother against father.  This is an adversarial system which oftentimes leads parties to engage in emotionally and financially draining court battles, and all dirty laundry gets examined and aired.

But there is another way, a private way of determining parental responsibility and child time-sharing schedules.  It is called collaborative practice, also known as collaborative family law.

Read more

Florida Grandparents’ Rights and Collaborative Divorce

Grandparents are, no doubt, an important part of the lives of Florida’s children.  The state government has on several occasions since 1978 enacted legislation to recognize Florida grandparent visitation and custody rights.  However, each statute which attempted to raise grandparents’ rights to the level of parents’ rights has been struck down by the Florida Supreme Court and appellate decisions as violating the fundamental rights of parents.

One effect of these court decisions is that a family law judge will not grant grandparents any visitation rights over the objection of a fit parent during divorce proceedings.

But what if there was a divorce process in which the importance of grandparents’ interaction with their grandchildren could be recognized?  There is, and the process is called collaborative divorce.

Read more

Can I Adopt My Grandchild in Florida?

Do you have a grandchild or other close relative living with you? Do you want to ensure that you have the legal ability to make healthcare, education, and other major decisions for the child? Do you want to legally establish the close relationship that already exists between you and the child?

You may be eligible to adopt your grandchild or other close relative, and fortunately, Florida has expedited procedures in place to facilitate such adoptions.

Read more

Concurrent Custody vs. Temporary Custody

I recently wrote a post explaining temporary custody by an extended family member, a type of action which allows parents to temporarily transfer their custody rights to a relative.  Once a judge grants a petition for temporary custody, the relative temporarily assumes the parents’ right to make decisions concerning the child’s healthcare and education, and also assumes the right to obtain documents such as birth certificates and passports.

However, sometimes parents want to give a relative custody rights while also retaining the rights for themselves.  Chapter 751 of the Florida Statutes allows for this arrangement in what is termed “concurrent custody.”

Read more

Temporary Custody by an Extended Family Member

If you have a nephew, niece, or grandchild living with you, you may have run into a roadblock when attempting to acquire his or her birth records or passport.  Further, you may have gotten the run around when attempting to make decisions concerning the child’s education or healthcare.  Fortunately, this state has a solution in chapter 751 of the Florida Statutes.

Chapter 751 permits an extended family member to take temporary custody of a minor child, access state and other records, and make major decisions concerning a child’s upbringing.  But, keep in mind, temporary custody must be granted by a Florida court (and cannot simply be signed away by a parent), and there are strict procedural requirements that must be met.

Read more