Child Custody and Visitation During Holidays in Florida

Holiday child custody and visitation was recently discussed by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Glevis v. Glevis.   In this case, the Husband and Wife met in a foreign country.  After they dated for a few years, the Husband brought the Wife to the United States.  The parties got married in the United States.  The Wife became pregnant, and the couple’s relationship deteriorated.  The Husband moved out of their home.  Eventually, the parties got back together.  The Husband found a job in Tampa, Florida, but the Wife refused to move to Tampa.  The Husband then found a home for the family in Bonita Springs.  After an argument, the Husband moved out of the marital home.  A dissolution of marriage proceeding was held.  The trial court awarded the Husband exclusive time-sharing with the baby.  Subsequently, the Wife was awarded supervised time-sharing.

When the trial court created a parenting plan for the parties, it did not include holiday custody and visitation with the child.  The Florida Court of Appeal ruled that when a court awards time-sharing to both parties, rotating holiday time-sharing is required unless there is a factual basis that justifies the denial of holiday time-sharing.  Since the trial court in Glevis v. Glevis denied the Wife holiday time-sharing without making the required factual findings, the trial court’s decision was reversed.

Additionally, in Glevis v. Glevis, the Magistrate recommended that the parties have shared parental responsibility, and awarded the Husband ultimate decision making authority.  Florida statutes require that in making determinations regarding parental responsibility, the best interests of the children govern.  In Florida, trial courts are directed to order shared parental responsibility unless there is a showing that it would be detrimental to the best interests of the parties’ children.  With shared parental responsibility, major decisions involving the children’s welfare are made after both parents have the opportunity to confer and reach an agreement. When courts determine that it would be detrimental for the children to have shared parental responsibility, courts may award sole parental responsibility.

When courts order shared parental responsibility, they may award one of the parents ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of their children’s lives based on the best interests of the children. Areas of responsibility may include health care, education, and any other responsibilities that are unique to the particular family.

To speak with a child custody and visitation attorney, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 328-1111.

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