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.

You should keep in mind that the other parent may object to the military parent’s designation based on an allegation that the grandparent’s visitation is not in the child’s best interests.  The other parent may then request an expedited hearing to determine whether to uphold the military parent’s designation.

When a court issues a temporary order permitting the grandparent to take over the military parent’s time-sharing, the military parent’s original time-sharing order shall be reinstated upon the military parent’s return from deployment, assignment, or temporary activation.

A military parent may also designate other relatives or his or her spouse to exercise time-sharing with the child on the military parent’s behalf. Additionally, the military parent and the other parent may agree to designate a person to share time on the military parent’s behalf during divorce or child custody proceedings.

If you have questions regarding Florida child custody or military family law issues, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., at (813) 443-0615 or fill out our contact form.

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