Are you a divorced or separated parent living in Florida? If so, you may be wondering about the rules and regulations regarding child custody vacation time in the Sunshine State. As summer is in full swing and families plan their vacations, it’s essential to understand your rights and obligations when it comes to spending quality time with your child during school breaks and holidays.
In this blog, we will explore everything you need to know about child custody vacation time in Florida, from the laws that govern it to parenting plans and violations that could derail your plans.
Read on or contact our child custody lawyers at Vasquez de Lara Law Group for help today.
In the state of Florida, both parents are assumed to have innate rights to their children unless a court order states otherwise. These rights include but are not limited to time-sharing, decision-making regarding education and health, and the general welfare of the child.
Florida law encourages shared parental responsibility, where both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities concerning their children even after separation or divorce. This includes sharing vacation time based on pre-agreed conditions in a parenting plan approved by a court order.
After divorcing with kids, the family court usually determines a schedule for holidays and vacations as part of the parenting plan. It may alternate between each parent from year-to-year or split major holidays between parents within a single year.
While planning vacation time, it’s crucial for you to communicate effectively with the other parent. This involves discussing and agreeing on a schedule that works best for both parties and is least disruptive to your child’s routine.
You may also want to include provisions for requiring notice of planned vacations or requiring signatures from both parents before traveling out-of-state or internationally. Make sure to communicate clearly and effectively with the other parent to ensure a smooth and stress-free vacation for everyone involved.
In Florida, if you want to travel for vacation with your child during scheduled parenting time, you may need court-ordered consent, or at minimum, to notify the other parent. Sometimes, the parenting plan will require written notice or consent, so requesting permission or providing the notice should happen as soon as the vacation is planned.
In other cases, or if the parenting plan does not specify, and you are traveling within your scheduled parenting time, you can travel with your child with no problems. Ultimately, it comes down to what’s in the parenting plan.
However, if the other parent objects, or worse, is infringing on your parenting time, you may need to seek court intervention. In such cases, you may need to file a motion with the court detailing your vacation plans and the reasons for seeking the court’s approval. The court will review your request and consider factors like the child’s age, the impact on their educational schedule, and any prior travel arrangements. The judge will ultimately decide whether to grant the court-ordered permission for the vacation.
What happens if you don’t play by the rules? If you fail to adhere to the child custody vacation time guidelines in Florida, it’s considered a violation of a court order, also known as contempt of a court order.
The courts take these violations very seriously and can result in severe legal Penalties or sanctions. The penalties depend on the severity and frequency of your violations. Minor, first-time offenses may result in warnings, but repeated or serious breaches could lead to changes in custody or visitation rights.
If the violations are found to be willful, legal recourse may be pursued vigorously against you. It’s essential to understand that every parent has a legal obligation to respect these orders from the court and failure to do so can be seen as contempt of court.
Are you having a hard time planning for time-sharing during summer vacation? Our child custody lawyers at Vasquez de Lara Law Group can help. Contact us to discuss your parenting plan or modifications today.