It is important to know that Jacksonville, Florida contains the third largest military base in the United States especially when you realize that the Naval Submarine base, Kings Bay is also included. Because of this and other military facilities also in the area, Jacksonville is considered a military community. Because military duty may affect family law issues such as parenting issues, child custody and timesharing. Unfortunately, most local residents do not understand these issues and should therefore read on as these issues may well come up during your time in the military.
Parenting Plans in Florida
When it comes to timesharing laws, Florida requires the courts to approve all parenting plans having to do with the responsibilities each parent will take for raising their children. Each parent must include in the plan information about when each parent will spend time with the children as well as details about school schedules, health care, and any other information about child care. The state of Florida understands the importance of military parents maintaining close contact with their children as well as the importance of sharing those responsibilities. These laws are based on the “Best Interest of the Child” standard, which takes into consideration all factors relevant in the proper care of children.
The Effects of Military Service
As far as custody rules, Florida laws take military service into account but the laws do not assume that the non-military parent is the best place for the child or children to go. The laws instead, modify the parenting plans when a service member-parent gets ready to deploy. Temporary modifications are created altering timesharing while the service member-parent is deployed. Later, when the service member-parent is on leave, alterations are made so that extended time can be spent with the child or children.
In addition, if deployment last more than 90-days, the service member-parent is given the option to designate a third party to act on his/her behalf. However, there are limits as to who the service member-parent can designate to act on their behalf in timesharing including, a family member or step-parent as the only ones to comply with the original order. In case a service member-parent is permanently transferred, other arrangements may be required for the parenting plan to accommodate the new arrangements all of which are created within the “best interest of the child” guidelines. Even though parenting plans take into account the possibility of deployment, court intervention may still be required. In this case, the hearings are expedited to accommodate the service member-parent so they are not penalized for their situation.