Florida Parenting Plan and Military Parent Custody Modification Primer

Florida parenting plan - Boca Raton, FLWest Palm Beach Family Law Attorney addresses Florida Child Custody Issues in a Shared Parenting Plan after Military Divorce in Florida

A Florida parenting plan needs to consider provide for the deployment a military parent, especially when the parties enjoy shared parenting. While it’s better to address these issues during a military divorce in Florida, sometimes a custody modification is the only option.

Is a Military Parent’s Deployment Grounds for a Custody Modification in a Florida Parenting Plan?

You always had a thing for the strong, silent type and an attraction to camouflage.  Hence, it came as no surprise when you settled down and started having little soldiers of your own. Unfortunately, you didn’t count on the stress that came with your significant other’s absence. Eventually, the distance became too much to handle and military divorce in Florida became the only option. You parted ways on good terms and even agreed to a shared parenting plan. Everything was going swell until the military parent received orders for deployment. Cue panic mode.

What happens to your little angel when you or your ex receive orders to Kandahar? Don’t worry. You don’t have to run out and buy Rosetta Stone for Junior to brush up on his Pashto. You, however, should take a lesson in Florida child custody and the plan courts follow for custody modification in a military family.

Florida parenting plan - Boca Raton, FLShared Parenting Plan Tips from West Palm Beach Family Law Attorney, Jordan Gerber, Esq.

Any time there is a Florida custody case that involves a service member, the shared parenting plan should consider the role military service will play in parenting children. Regardless of whether the parent is on active duty or part of the reserves. Even though the service member and the other parent may both live in West Palm Beach at the time of the order, a move is most likely in the future. Consequently, the Florida parenting plan should assume that a service member on active duty changes their duty station every few years. As a result, a custody visit every other weekend per the original time sharing schedule may no longer work. Addressing these issues in a shared parenting plan from the jump also avoids the need to hire Family Law lawyers to go back to court for a family divorce modification.

Deployment can mean a variety of things under military law and this should also be specifically defined in a shared parenting plan. A deployment can refer to a service member going out on a field exercise at their local base for two weeks of training. A deployment can mean a service member going to a military school for two months. Or, a deployment can mean a service member deploying overseas. A well drafted shared parenting plan will contemplate all of these scenarios because they all impact Florida parenting time.

Florida parenting plan - Boca Raton, FLWest Palm Beach Family Law Attorney on the Importance of a Detailed Parenting Plan Before or After Military Divorce in Florida

When there is a military parent, it’s important to discuss certain issues prior to the entry of a Florida shared parenting plan under state divorce law. These include:

  • If the parents have joint custody in West Palm Beach, what will be the arrangement if the military parent has to relocate for duty?
  • What will happen to the courts parenting schedule when military duty temporarily interferes? Is there an arrangement for make up time?
  • What are the terms of a temporary custody modification during deployment? Is a change in legal custody automatic?
  • How and when will the child return to the military parent after deployment under the courts plan?
  • What arrangements are there in the Florida custody order for the military parent to communicate with the child while on duty?

Family military service centers can help provide resources and programs for service military members to help answer these questions.

What Happens When a Military Parent Seeks a Child Custody Modification in Florida

The Service members Civil Relief Act is a Federal law that applies to a military parent in a child custody case with or without military divorce in Florida. If a parent files for a custody modification, the military parent can request a stay under this act. If the military parent requests the stay and it’s legit, there is a mandatory delay in the case for a period of 90 days. While the parent is unable to appear due to deployment, no change can be made to the parties child custody arrangement.

Florida parenting plan - Boca Raton, FLChild Custody Modification of a Florida Parenting Plan when Shared Parenting is Ordered

A military parent living in West Palm Beach can be deployed on orders of more than 90 days. If the military parent’s ability to comply with time sharing is materially affected, they can choose someone as a stand in. The person must be a family member or a relative of the child by marriage to allow the custody modification. This must be done at least ten days before the period of time sharing begins. The grounds for an objection are limited. An objection is only valid if the appointment made by the Florida military parent conflicts with the best interest of the child. Either parent may request an expedited court hearing if they can’t agree. Family lawyers can help with this type of custody court order during or after a military divorce in Florida or if the parties were never married.

Modifying a Florida Parenting Plan under Child Custody Laws Without a Military Parent

Certain child custody factors are key to the best interests of the child under Florida Family Law. These are important for a divorced spouse to know, whether or not they are a spouse military. A custody order in a Florida parenting plan depends on several things:

  • Demonstrated capacity of spouses to encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship and to honor the time-sharing schedule. This includes being reasonable when changes are necessary.
  • The anticipated division of parental responsibilities of both the military spouse and non member spouse after the litigation.
  • Demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the shared child as opposed to their own.
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  • Geographic viability of the Florida parenting plan.
  • The moral fitness of the parents.
  • Mental and physical health of each parent.
  • The home, school, and community record of the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child. Whether this comes into play when entering a custody order is in the court’s discretion.

Florida parenting plan - Boca Raton, FLAdditional Factors to Consider for a Florida Shared Parenting Plan

  • Demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be aware of the circumstances of the minor child.
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child.
  • Each parent’s desire and ability to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child.
  • Evidence of domestic violence, abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
  • Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any domestic violence or abuse case.
  • The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent.
  • Demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and involve themselves in the child’s education and extracurricular activities.
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the children and stating that it’s free from substance abuse.
  • The capacity and disposition of each paying parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation.
  • Developmental stage and needs of the child. The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each caring 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.

Click  West Palm Beach Family Law Attorney  today to schedule your consultation. Proudly Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and all of Palm Beach County, Florida. Assisting in all matters of Florida Family Law.

Boca Raton Child Custody Attorneys Practice Areas Include:

  • Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

  • Contested Divorce

  • Uncontested Divorce

  • Child Custody Florida

  • Florida Parenting Plan

  • Shared Parenting Plan

  • Relocation Under Florida Statute 61.13001

  • Military Divorce In Florida

  • Custody Modification When There Is A Military Parent

  • Paternity

  • Florida Child Support Enforcement

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