Zachary A. VanDyke, PA
Panama City Attorney
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Florida child support and visitation for service members

When Florida couples share a child, there will be certain issues that have to be handled if they are no longer together. These issues are compounded when one or both members are in the military. Since military personnel have certain duties that they are obligated to fulfill, the law allows for temporary modifications of time-sharing and child support for service members. Those who are military members or the former spouse of a military member should understand the law when it comes to these matters.

When the modification is requested because a parent has been placed on active duty, is subject to deployment or has been temporarily assigned to service in the military and the agreement cannot be adhered to, the court can make a modification or change an established agreement to alter it accordingly on a temporary basis. This is based on the child's best interests.

Other factors will be also taken into account. The court will take contact between the service member and the child into consideration. This can include telephone contact, electronic communication and other methods. When the parent is not on duty and fulfilling the military commitment, the time-sharing situation will be liberalized to foster the connection between the parent and child.

If the deployment or assignment goes beyond 90 days and the time-sharing is affected, the service member can designate a person or persons to have visitation with the child on his or her behalf. This can be a family member, a stepparent, or a relative through marriage. This will be in writing and the other parent will receive this a minimum of 10 business days before it will start. The custodial parent can object if it is not believed to be in the child's best interests. The service member and the other parent are expected to be cooperative with one another to come to an agreement regarding these issues.

Source: leg.state.fl.us, "61.13002 Temporary time-sharing modification and child support modification due to military service.," accessed on Jan. 23, 2017

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Zachary A. Vandyke, P.A.
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Panama City, FL 32401

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