Visitation Rights in a Florida Child Custody Agreement Lack Validity

visitation rights Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton Custody Lawyer, Jordan Gerber, Esq., Answers the Question: What is Joint Custody in Palm Beach County?

This post explores visitation rights, or the lack thereof, under Florida child custody laws. This follows my last post on grandparents rights to participate in Florida time sharing.

What about other key figures in a child’s life? For example, a biological parent’s partner or a step parents rights? Consequently, the Palm Beach County family court takes the same position as it does with grandparents visitation rights. It maintains it lacks the authority to award time with a child to anyone but a biological parent. Thus, a biological parent has a privacy right to raise their child. Unless the child’s safety is in danger, the principle sticks.

Boca Raton Child Custody Attorney, Jordan Gerber, Esq., explains Visitation Rights in Palm Beach County Family Court

Furthermore, this extends to all parties who seek visitation. This includes sperm donors as much as it does people in relationships with the biological parent, no matter the length or significance. Additionally, same-sex partners and step parents who haven’t adopted the child are also disqualified.  As a result, if you were hoping for a loophole, no dice. The Court refuses to enforce any agreement entered into by the biological parent for visitation; now known as time sharing.

visitation rights Boca Raton, FLBest Divorce Lawyers Advice? Pay Attention to the Golden Rule of Florida Family Law

What about the best interest of the child argument?  Anyone passing through Palm Beach County family court knows this principle due to its importance to judges. The Constitution, however, trumps all. In fact, a child lacks the right to sue for visitation rights through either a guardian or other third party. Of course, relief is always available when a child’s safety is compromised. Thus, any concerned party can initiate proceedings in dependency court. Dependency proceedings are outside of family court and brought under Florida Statutes Chapter 39. Bottom line?

Visitation Rights, Like The Term Itself, Are History

visitation rights Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton Attorney, Jordan Gerber, Esq., explains the Factors of Statute 61.13 that make up Florida Child Custody Laws

To establish parental responsibility and create a Florida parenting plan, the best interest of the child is the the primary consideration. Florida family court judges determine the best interest of the child while reviewing several factors:

  • Demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship.
  • The anticipated division of parental responsibilities both before and after the litigation.
  • Demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and to also act upon the needs of the child as opposed to their own.
  • Length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment as much as the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  • Geographic viability of the parenting plan.
  • Moral fitness of the parents.
  • The mental and physical health of the parents.
  • Home, school, and community record of the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child. If the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.

visitation rights Boca Raton, FLAdditional Factors of Florida Statute that Disallow Visitation Rights

  • Demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child.
  • Each parent’s capacity and disposition to maintain a consistent routine for the child.
  • The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of the child’s issues and activities.
  • Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect,
  • Evidence that either parent has provided false information to the court of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
  • Particular tasks customarily performed by each parent.
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
  • Demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.
  • Capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation.
  • The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child’s developmental needs.
  • Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time sharing schedule.

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