Child Custody and Visitation – Parenting Plans in Florida

A Child Custody and Visitation case was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Scudder v. Scudder. The parties were married in 2001 in India, and have three children. When the husband and wife lived in the United Arab Emirates, they entered into a marital settlement agreement. The marital settlement agreement covered some financial issues involving the children, discussed child support, and set forth a timesharing schedule. The Husband then filed for divorce in Collier County, Florida. After filing for divorce in Collier County, Florida, the Husband and the children moved to Palm Beach County. The Circuit Court in Collier County, Florida transferred the case to the Circuit Court in Palm Beach County, Florida for purposes of resolving timesharing issues pertaining to the children. The parties agreed that a social investigation could be conducted. The social investigator filed a report and recommendation with the Court.

During the trial, the husband attempted to impeach the social investigator with his prior deposition testimony, however, the social investigator had not read and signed his deposition prior to the trial. Accordingly, the trial court rejected the husband’s attempt to utilize the deposition for purposes of cross examination. After the trial, upon the husband’s motion, the trial court permitted the husband to reopen the case to allow the husband to cross examine the social investigator. At the conclusion of the trial, the court awarded the husband 29.5% of the timesharing with the children, and awarded the wife 70.5% of the timesharing with the children. The Court also permitted the wife to relocate to New York.

In resolving this case of child custody and visitation, the Florida Court of Appeal discussed the fact that the Florida Statutes require certain provisions to be included in parenting plans in Florida. Some of the provisions that are required to be included in parenting plans in Florida are as follows. Parenting plans must describe how parents will share and be responsible for the duties involved in raising their children. They must set forth a timesharing schedule. They must set forth each parent’s responsibility for the children’s healthcare. They must resolve matters involving the children’s schooling and extracurricular activities. They must describe the address that is to be used for school registration and school boundary determinations. They must also describe the technologies and the methods that the parents will use to communicate with the children.

To speak with a Child Custody and Visitation attorney about formulating a parenting plan in Florida, contact Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A. at (561) 363-3400.

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