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 parents met in Haiti.  They dated for several years, and moved to Naples, Florida.  The Husband found a job in Tampa, but the Wife refused to move to Tampa.  Eventually the parties settled in Bonita Springs. The Husband moved out of the parties’ apartment, and did not renew the lease.  The Wife found a job, and rented a room for herself and the baby.

The trial court created a parenting plan that 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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