Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.
Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach And Wellington, Florida Offices 561-328-1095

Child custody and visitation in Jupiter, Florida

In a child custody and visitation proceeding, where time-sharing is ordered, the non-custodial parent's right to the child on rotating holidays has become so routine and necessary that to deny it requires factual findings justifying that decision. In Mills v. Johnson, the Florida Court of Appeal stated: "Furthermore, the trial court erred in accepting and adopting a time­sharing schedule that did not address holiday time-sharing. It is undisputed that the Former Husband failed to raise this issue in his exceptions to the magistrate's report. Nonetheless, if the errors in the magistrate's report are clear on its face, the trial court errs in adopting the report. See Torres v. Torres, 98 So. 3d 1171, 1171-72 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011).

Such is the case here. Cf. Crittenden v. Davis, 89 So. 3d 1098,1101 (Fla. 4thDCA 2012) (" '[W]here visitation is ordered, the non-custodial parent's right to the child on rotating holidays has become so routine and necessary that to deny it requires factual findings justifying that decision.'" (quoting Todd v. Guillaume-Todd, 1 972 So. 2d 1003, 1006 (Fla. 4th DCA 2008))); Schumaker v. Schumaker, 931 So. 2d 271,274 (Fla. 5th DCA 2006) (holding that the trial court erred in failing to address holiday visitation). In light of I the fact that the magistrate determined that the parties have a "contentious parenting relationship," it seems particularly imperative for the magistrate to recommend a holiday time-sharing schedule. See Blackburn v. Blackburn, 103 So. 3d 941, 942 (Fla. 2d DCA 2012) ("[T]he magistrate erroneously declined to set a holiday time-sharing schedule as requested. As a result, the parties who already have exhibited animosity toward one another are left with the responsibility of setting a schedule by which they can share time with the children on / major holidays.").

Therefore, we reverse the trial court's award of alimony and direct the trial court to revisit the issue on remand. We also reverse the time­sharing schedule to the extent that it does not address holiday time­sharing and remand for the trial court to set a holiday time-sharing schedule. Affirmed in part; reversed and remanded in part."

To speak with a child custody attorney in Jupiter, Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 651-7273.

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