Father’s Rights to Visitation In Florida
Florida laws to protect children are established and working. But the laws for a father’s rights are not as well established and as a result, Florida fathers must fight for their rights. A father’s rights in Florida are not automatically provided. Affirmative action by the father must be initiated if he is to protect his rights under the current Florida law.
Florida Visitation Laws Are Now Time Sharing Laws.
This is a BIG WIN for Father’s/Men’s Rights in Florida. Visitation (timesharing) is the schedule of time that the parents spend with his/her child(ren). It is important that you know your rights. The amount of timesharing that you receive with the children will affect your child support payments as well. As a parent you are divorcing your spouse usually because you do not get along, but you are not divorcing your children. It is extremely important that you talk to a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss a timesharing schedule that works for you and your family.
It is a lot easier to change a current Order for visitation (time sharing) with your child(ren) then to change a prior custody (time sharing scheduel or parenting plan) determination. You and your ex-spouse can agree on a change of the visitation schedule but you must get the agreement (parenting plan) approved by the court before it will be enforceable.
Children’s Needs Change
As children get older, their needs change. Parents change jobs and their ability to adhere to the visitation (time sharing) schedule changes. Oftentimes the visitation (time sharing) determination becomes impossible to follow, this can be do to changes in the schedule that are beyond your control. Children need consistency and most times these changes can be addressed amicably. Other times some parents demand that the court Ordered visitation be strictly adhered to. These issues need to be addressed immediately.
You must speak to a family law attorney as soon as possible so that your rights can be protected. When an attorney gets involved sometimes a simple letter to the custodial parent explaining the changes that have occurred and suggesting a new schedule of visitation can make all the difference.
Common Visitation Problems
Bitter Parental Relationships
Additionally, some parents are still bitter after the divorce. This bitterness toward the non-custodial parent affects their ability to properly parent. Oftentimes this causes problems with the non-custodial parent’s timesharing with his/her child(ren). It is the custodial parent’s responsibility according to Florida law to encourage and foster an ongoing relationship with the non-custodial parent. If the custodial parent is incapable of performing that responsibility the non-custodial parent might have to resort to the court for help, either for enforcement of the visitation that is Ordered, as well as sanctions (penalties) against that parent. The court can change the custody (Time Sharing) of the child(ren) for interference with a parent’s visitation (time sharing) rights.
Visitation Rights Interference
Interference with visitation (time sharing) rights is an ongoing problem for our courts. The court can give the parent make-up visitation (time sharing) for the time that they missed, fine the non-conforming parent, Order community service, as well as Order a change in the parenting plan.
Parental alienation occurs when a parent intentionally does not honor the other parent’s visitation rights. Oftentimes the child(ren) are taught to become unjustly obsessed with negative qualities of the other parent. Both the parent and the child share antagonistic views of the other parent. The child sometimes will tell the parent that he/she does not want to visit with the parent. This is usually done by the child at the insistence of the other parent. Oftentimes visitation (time sharing) becomes chronically interfered with. The one sabotages the relationship between the other parent and the child. The parent must take action through the court. Contacting a family law attorney as soon as possible to discuss the problems is imperative. The parent should keep a diary of all the denied visitations (time sharing) as well as the denied telephone calls, holiday visits that were denied, denial of the parents ability to partake in the medical, educational and welfare of the child(ren).
Third Party Solutions
In these cases the visitation (time sharing) schedule must be spelled out as specifically as possible. The use of third persons for pick-up and drop-offs so that they can document any problems that occur. A neutral location for the pick-ups and drop-offs can be put in place to eliminate the custodial parent making false allegations as to what occurred during the pick-up and drop-off. The order can direct that a law enforcement officer can monitor the pick-up and drop-off and if the custodial parent does not follow the Order the officer can arrest that parent. Have school personnel provide the non-custodial parent with information regarding the child(ren)’s educational records. These are some of the things that the court can Order to help enforce prior Orders and to help with future visitations (time sharing) with your child(ren).
Martin-Schwartz family law serves clients in Florida and Texas.