Matthew Lane & Associates, P.A.
PALM BEACH GARDENS, WEST PALM BEACH, WELLINGTON, BOCA RATON561-328-1111

Child Custody and Visitation Archives

Child Custody and Visitation in Wellington, Florida

Child Custody and Visitation in Florida was recently addressed by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Beck v. Lewis. In this case the father appealed the temporary order of the court which created a temporary timesharing schedule for the parents. The trial court granted temporary primary custody of the child to the mother. The Court of Appeal affirmed this temporary order. The temporary order terminated a prior court order that awarded temporary timesharing to the child's grandmother.

Child Custody and Visitation for Same-Sex Couples in Florida

Child Custody and Visitation for Same-Sex Couples in Florida was recently discussed by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Springer v. Springer. In Springer v. Springer a child was born to a biological mother while she was in a same-sex relationship. Her partner asked the Court to recognize a parenting plan that both parties entered into. The parties started their relationship in the State of Ohio. The Biological Mother became pregnant by a donor's sperm. The Former Partner had no biological connection to the child. The parties entered into a timesharing agreement which contained a provision that the parties were to share timesharing and parental responsibility. The parties separated after they moved to Florida. The parties did not marry and the child was not adopted by the Former Partner. The Former Partner sought time-sharing and parental responsibility of the child.

Child Custody and Visitation in Boca Raton, Florida

A Child Custody and Visitation case involving emergency intervention by the Court was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned McAbee v. McAbee. In this case the parents married in South Carolina and divorced in Virginia. They have one child. The mother alleged that the father sexually abused the child in Virginia and in Florida. The father admitted to sexually abusing the child in letters that he sent to the mother. The father also documented to having a sex addiction. The father later denied the sexual abuse and claimed that the sex addiction was a reaction to taking certain medication. The mother filed for custody in Virginia and a psychologist stated that the father was no threat to the child. The father moved to Florida and filed for divorce in Virginia. The mother also moved to Florida. The Virginia court granted the father supervised time-sharing. The mother petitioned for relief in Florida and the case was dismissed. Later on, the Virginia court gave the father graduated timesharing. The mother filed more petitions in Florida and the Florida court denied her petitions. The mother moved to South Carolina with the child. The Virginia court then awarded the father sole custody. The mother sought a protective order in South Carolina, which was denied. The mother then filed an action in Broward County, Florida. The Broward County judge found that the child had been abused. The court issued an injunction and ordered the child to have no contact with the father.

Child Custody and Visitation - Private School for Children

A Child Custody and Visitation case involving private schooling was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal. The father sought to enroll the children in a private Christian school. The final judgment of dissolution of marriage awarded the parents shared parental responsibility for the children. In 2017, the children attended public school at Palmetto Middle School and Palmetto Elementary School. The parents could not agree on which middle school the children should attend. The mother preferred Palmetto Middle School and the father wanted the children to attend a private Christian school. The father stated that he was willing to pay for the cost for the children to attend the private school.

Child Custody and Visitation in West Palm Beach, Florida

A child custody and visitation issue was recently decided by the Florida Court of Appeal in a case captioned Preudhomme v. Preudhomme. In this case, the Mother challenged the trial court's timesharing determination. The Mother lived in Pensacola and the Father lived in Mobile, Alabama. During the pendency of the divorce proceeding, the parents met midway between the two cities for timesharing. The parents arranged for the child to attend preschools in both cities. The Mother asked the trial court to create a parenting plan in which she had majority timesharing and the Father was given alternating weekends and holidays and weekly rotating custody during the summer. The Father asked the trial court to continue the current timesharing schedule until the child began kindergarten. The child was scheduled to begin kindergarten approximately twenty months later. After the child started kindergarten, the Father requested that he be awarded majority timesharing when the child was in school. The Father proposed that the Mother should have timesharing during alternating holidays and weekends, and for most of the summer. The court adopted the Father's proposed parenting plan.

Child Custody and Visitation in Wellington, Florida

In a child custody and visitation case, the Florida Court of Appeal recently ruled that a trial court cannot choose one parent's religious beliefs over the others' absent a showing of harm to the children. In Steinman v. Steinman the mother appealed a trial court's order finding her in contempt of court for unilaterally making decisions regarding her children's religion. The parties' marital settlement agreement provided for joint decision-making concerning all major decisions involving the children. The father contended that the mother's unilateral decision concerning the children's religious education constituted contempt of court.

Child Custody and Visitation in Wellington, Florida

In making a child custody and visitation award that provides for ultimate decision-making, a trial court must delineate the specific areas over which a parent can exercise this authority. In a recent case captioned McClure v. Beck, the former wife filed an appeal of a lower court decision which modified the parties' final judgment. The Court of Appeal agreed with the former wife's argument that the lower court decision should be reversed because the trial court erroneously gave the former husband ultimate decision-making authority without describing the specific areas over which he could exercise this authority. The parties' original final judgment of dissolution of marriage gave the parents equal time ­sharing with their children. It required the parties to live in Indian River County. The former wife petitioned the Court to relocate to California. The lower court denied the former wife's petition. Notwithstanding the Court's ruling, the former wife remained in California. The former husband then filed a petition to modify the parties' time-sharing schedule and asked the Court to award him ultimate decision-making authority if the parties were unable to agree. The magistrate gave the former husband ultimate decision-making authority when the parties disagreed on major decisions concerning the welfare of the children. The trial court affirmed the magistrate's decision. The Court of Appeal reversed the magistrate's and the trial court's rulings.

Child Custody and Visitation in Palm Beach Gardens

Restrictions on child custody and visitation by a judge in a court order must be accompanied by a description of the steps that a parent can take to reestablish unsupervised custody and visitation. In a recent case captioned Bahls v. Bahls a parent asked for a rehearing on a prior decision that was rendered by the Court. The appellate court granted the motion for a rehearing and reissued a revised opinion. The appellate court reversed the trial court's judgment because it failed to provide the specific steps required for the parent to end supervised visitation with her child. The trial court heard testimony from many witnesses on the appropriate timesharing arrangements for the parent and the child. The trial court ordered supervised visitation. The court also awarded ultimate parental responsibility to one of the parents. The Court permitted one parent to have most of the timesharing with the child and awarded supervised visitation to the other parent without providing any suggestion as to how unsupervised visitation could take place.

Modification of Child Custody and Visitation in Jupiter, Florida

In a child custody and visitation matter, absent an emergency, the failure to give notice of a temporary custody hearing is a denial of due process. In a recent case captioned Suleiman v. Suleiman the Florida Court of Appeal had before it a case where the former husband obtained an emergency ex parte order which modified the parties' timesharing schedule. The Court of Appeal reversed because the former wife was denied due process and because the modification of the custody and visitation schedule was inappropriate. A final judgment of dissolution was entered on January 22, 2008. The father was awarded visitation with the children every Wednesday and on alternating weekends. The former wife later remarried and moved to Polk County, Florida, with the children and her new husband. The former wife took the children out of the Orange County schools and enrolled them in schools in Polk County. 

Child Custody and Visitation in Palm Beach County, Florida

fam.jpgIn a child custody and visitation case, a parent is required to comply with the time-sharing schedule ordered by the Court and may not frustrate the other parent's ability to have a positive relationship with their children. In a case captioned Ford v. Ford, the Florida Court of Appeal recently found a parent in contempt of court and imposed sanctions against her for failing to comply with the court ordered parenting plan. The Court held that a parent may not encourage children not to spend time with the other parent. A parent may not participate in a child's refusal to stay at the other parent's home for time-sharing. A parent may not empower children to reject the children's relationship with the other parent. A parent should not schedule social events on days when the other parent has time-sharing with the children. A parent who does these things can be held in contempt of court. 

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