16 Sep CHANGE IN THE MILITARY STATUTE EXPANSION OF CUSTODY RIGHTS FOR DEPLOYED MILITARY MEMBERS FLORIDA STATUTE 61.703 PASSED JULY 2018
Over the years, laws addressing issues facing military parents have become a national trend, most especially with regards to the issue of custody or timesharing.
Custody is one of the most controversial aspects of divorce. As contentious as it can be, when the parents continue to disagree, the court ends up making a decision and as things begin to change the parents can still petition for modifications with regards to the order of the child’s custody.
Unfortunately, the complexity of the matter may become overwhelming when you are in the military. This is so because there are lots of advantages that comes with serving your country, but the challenges therein cannot be ignored too.
This past year, Florida’s legislatures implemented a new statute designed to streamline an activated or deployed service member’s ability to return to court to make temporary changes to their existing parenting plan. The recently enacted “Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act, creating Part IV of Florida Statute 61, totally changes how military service members who are being deployed handle certain issues, most especially on time sharing, with regards to their Child’s care while they are gone.
One of the major changes in the statute is that the Florida Law allows a non-parent, who is an adult family member of the child or an adult who is not part of the family with whom the young child has a close and substantial relationship with, to be entitled to a grant by the court for a temporary visitation in place of a deployed parent.
Previously, non-relatives or non-parents were not recognized to have a timesharing with children of the deployed military member, but this is a great change in the statute. It is evident that the law creates a parameter for military service members being deployed for service to reach agreements for their Child’s care.
It is, however, worth noting that this statute is not applicable to permanent duty station re-assignments, but strictly to only temporary military assignments.
Thus, it is important that as an active duty military member of Florida, you should make sure that you have a good plan in place with regards to your permanent or temporary location assignments.