What happens to my time sharing when I am deployed?

For parents who are going to be deployed, your timesharing rights can be reallocated.  

Being next to MacDill Air Force Base means that I represent a high amount of military clients going through divorce or dealing with child time sharing issues.  Many of my military clients have minor children and exercise time sharing pursuant to a parenting plan ordered by the court.  What happens to that time sharing if you are deployed?

The Florida legislature has enacted a statute that deals directly with this issue.  Under Florida Statute section 61.13002  a service member can give his or her time sharing to another person while they are deployed.  Specifically, the statute states that “if a parent is activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service on orders in excess of 90 days and the parent’s ability to comply with time-sharing is materially affected as a result, the parent may designate a person or persons to exercise time-sharing with the child on the parent’s behalf. The designation shall be limited to a family member, a stepparent, or a relative of the child by marriage.”

If you wish to designate a family member to take your time sharing, the you must do so in writing.  You must provide the written notice at least 10 working days prior to the time sharing commencing. This statute does not apply to permanent change of stations by military personnel.  The other parent can only fight this designation if they allege the time sharing is not in the minor child’s best interest. If there is an objection, then the court must hold an evidentiary hearing to determine if it is in the minor child’s best interest.  This can become problematic when you are given orders with only a short notice. If that is the case, it is imperative that you contact your family law attorney and request that your family law attorney seek an expedited hearing immediately.  

If you are facing a deployment and wish to grant your timesharing to another person or require legal assistance in other areas of Family Law you may always contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at contact@themckinneylawgroup.com.

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