Florida Senate - 2018                             CS for SB 1598
       
       
        
       By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Passidomo
       
       
       
       
       
       590-02437-18                                          20181598c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to deployed parent custody and
    3         visitation; repealing s. 61.13002, F.S., relating to
    4         temporary time-sharing modification and child support
    5         modification due to military service; creating part IV
    6         of ch. 61, F.S., entitled “Uniform Deployed Parents
    7         Custody and Visitation Act”; providing definitions;
    8         providing remedies for noncompliance; authorizing a
    9         court to issue certain custodial orders only under
   10         certain jurisdiction; providing notice requirements;
   11         providing requirements for proceeding for custodial
   12         responsibility of a child of a servicemember;
   13         providing requirements for agreement forms,
   14         termination, modification, power of attorney, and
   15         filing; providing requirements for temporary orders of
   16         custodial responsibility; authorizing electronic
   17         testimony in a proceeding for temporary custody;
   18         providing for the effect of any prior judicial order
   19         or agreement; authorizing a court to grant caretaking
   20         authority or limited contact to a nonparent under
   21         certain conditions; providing for the termination of a
   22         grant of authority; providing requirements for an
   23         order of temporary custody; authorizing a court to
   24         enter a temporary order for child support under
   25         certain circumstances; authorizing a court to modify
   26         or terminate a temporary grant of custodial
   27         responsibility; providing procedures for termination
   28         of a temporary custodial responsibility agreement;
   29         providing for visitation; providing construction;
   30         providing applicability; providing an effective date.
   31          
   32  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   33  
   34         Section 1. Section 61.13002, Florida Statutes, is repealed.
   35         Section 2. Part IV of chapter 61, Florida Statutes,
   36  consisting of sections 61.703-61.773, Florida Statutes, is
   37  created and entitled “Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and
   38  Visitation Act.”
   39         61.703Definitions.—As used in this part:
   40         (1)“Adult” means an individual who has attained 18 years
   41  of age or who has had the disability of nonage removed under
   42  chapter 743.
   43         (2)“Caretaking authority” means the right to live with and
   44  care for a child on a day-to-day basis. The term includes
   45  physical custody, parenting time, right to access, and
   46  visitation.
   47         (3)“Child” means:
   48         (a)An individual who has not attained 18 years of age and
   49  who has not had the disability of nonage removed under chapter
   50  743; or
   51         (b)An adult son or daughter by birth or adoption, or
   52  designated by general law, who is the subject of a court order
   53  concerning custodial responsibility.
   54         (4)“Close and substantial relationship” means a
   55  relationship in which a significant bond exists between a child
   56  and a nonparent.
   57         (5)“Court” means the court of legal jurisdiction.
   58         (6)“Custodial responsibility” includes all powers and
   59  duties relating to caretaking authority and decisionmaking
   60  authority for a child. The term includes physical custody, legal
   61  custody, parenting time, right to access, visitation, and
   62  authority to grant limited contact with a child.
   63         (7)“Decisionmaking authority” means the power to make
   64  important decisions regarding a child, including decisions
   65  regarding the child’s education, religious training, health
   66  care, extracurricular activities, and travel. The term does not
   67  include the power to make decisions that necessarily accompany a
   68  grant of caretaking authority.
   69         (8)“Deploying parent” means a servicemember who is
   70  deployed or has been notified of impending deployment and is:
   71         (a)A parent of a child; or
   72         (b)An individual who has custodial responsibility for a
   73  child.
   74         (9)“Deployment” means the movement or mobilization of a
   75  servicemember for more than 90 days but less than 18 months
   76  pursuant to uniformed service orders that:
   77         (a)Are designated as unaccompanied;
   78         (b)Do not authorize dependent travel; or
   79         (c)Otherwise do not permit the movement of family members
   80  to the location to which the servicemember is deployed.
   81         (10)“Family member” means a sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin,
   82  stepparent, or grandparent of a child or an individual
   83  recognized to be in a familial relationship with a child.
   84         (11)“Limited contact” means the authority of a nonparent
   85  to visit a child for a limited time. The term includes authority
   86  to take the child to a place other than the child’s residence.
   87         (12)“Nonparent” means an individual other than a deploying
   88  parent or other parent.
   89         (13)“Other parent” means an individual who, in addition to
   90  a deploying parent, is:
   91         (a)A parent of a child; or
   92         (b)An individual who has custodial responsibility for a
   93  child.
   94         (14)“Record” means information that is created in a
   95  tangible medium or stored in an electronic or other medium and
   96  is retrievable in perceivable form.
   97         (15)“Return from deployment” means the conclusion of a
   98  servicemember’s deployment as specified in uniformed service
   99  orders.
  100         (16)“Servicemember” means a member of a uniformed service.
  101         (17)“Sign” means, with the intent to authenticate or adopt
  102  a record, to:
  103         (a)Execute or adopt a tangible symbol; or
  104         (b)Attach to or logically associate with the record an
  105  electronic symbol, sound, or process.
  106         (18)“State” means a state of the United States, the
  107  District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin
  108  Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the
  109  jurisdiction of the United States.
  110         (19)“Uniformed service” means any of the following:
  111         (a)Active and reserve components of the Army, Navy, Air
  112  Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard of the United States.
  113         (b)The United States Merchant Marine.
  114         (c)The commissioned corps of the United States Public
  115  Health Service.
  116         (d)The commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and
  117  Atmospheric Administration.
  118         (e)The National Guard of a state or territory of the
  119  United States, Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia.
  120         61.705Remedies for noncompliance.—In addition to other
  121  remedies authorized by general law, if a court finds that a
  122  party to a proceeding acts in bad faith or intentionally fails
  123  to comply with this part or a court order issued under this
  124  part, the court may assess reasonable attorney fees and costs
  125  against the party, and order other appropriate relief.
  126         61.707Jurisdiction.—
  127         (1)A court may issue an order regarding custodial
  128  responsibility only if the court has jurisdiction under the
  129  Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
  130         (2)For purposes of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction
  131  and Enforcement Act, the residence of the deploying parent does
  132  not change by reason of the deployment if:
  133         (a)A court has issued a temporary order regarding
  134  custodial responsibility.
  135         (b)A court has issued a permanent order regarding
  136  custodial responsibility before notice of deployment and the
  137  parents modify that order temporarily by agreement.
  138         (c)A court in another state has issued a temporary order
  139  regarding custodial responsibility as a result of impending or
  140  current deployment.
  141         (3)This section does not prevent a court from exercising
  142  temporary emergency jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody
  143  Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
  144         61.709Notice requirement for deploying parent.—
  145         (1)Except as otherwise provided in subsection (3), and
  146  subject to subsection (2), a deploying parent shall notify in a
  147  record to the other parent:
  148         (a)A pending deployment not later than 7 days after
  149  receiving notice of deployment unless he or she is reasonably
  150  prevented from doing so by the circumstances of service, in
  151  which case the deploying parent shall provide notice as soon as
  152  reasonably possible.
  153         (b)A plan fulfilling each parent’s share of custodial
  154  responsibility during deployment provided as soon as reasonably
  155  possible after notice of deployment is given under paragraph
  156  (a).
  157         (2)If a court order prohibits disclosure of the address or
  158  contact information of the other parent, notice pursuant to
  159  subsection (1) must be provided to the issuing court. If the
  160  address of the other parent is available to the issuing court,
  161  the court shall forward the notice to the other parent. The
  162  court shall keep confidential the address or contact information
  163  of the other parent.
  164         (3)Notice pursuant to subsection (1) is not required if
  165  both parents are living in the same residence and have actual
  166  notice of the deployment or plan.
  167         (4)In a proceeding regarding custodial responsibility, a
  168  court may consider the reasonableness of a parent’s efforts to
  169  comply with this section.
  170         61.711Duty to notify of change of address.—
  171         (1)Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), an
  172  individual granted custodial responsibility during deployment
  173  must notify the deploying parent and any other individual with
  174  custodial responsibility of a child of any change of mailing
  175  address or residence until the grant is terminated. The
  176  individual must provide the notice to any court that has issued
  177  a custody or child support order concerning the child.
  178         (2)If a court order prohibits disclosure of the address or
  179  contact information of an individual to whom custodial
  180  responsibility has been granted, notice pursuant to subsection
  181  (1) must be provided to the issuing court. The court shall keep
  182  confidential the mailing address or residence of the individual
  183  granted custodial responsibility.
  184         61.713General consideration in custody proceeding of
  185  parent’s service.—In a proceeding for custodial responsibility
  186  of a child of a servicemember, a court may not consider a
  187  parent’s past deployment or possible future deployment in
  188  determining the best interest of the child.
  189         61.721Form of custodial responsibility agreement.—
  190         (1)The parents of a child may enter into a temporary
  191  agreement granting custodial responsibility during deployment.
  192         (2)The agreement must be in writing and signed by both
  193  parents and any nonparent granted custodial responsibility.
  194         (3)Subject to subsection (4), the agreement, if feasible,
  195  must:
  196         (a)Identify the destination, duration, and conditions of
  197  the deployment that is the basis for the agreement.
  198         (b)Specify the allocation of caretaking authority among
  199  the deploying parent, the other parent, and any nonparent.
  200         (c)Specify any decisionmaking authority that accompanies a
  201  grant of caretaking authority.
  202         (d)Specify any grant of limited contact to a nonparent.
  203         (e)Provide a process to resolve any dispute that may arise
  204  if custodial responsibility is shared by the other parent and a
  205  nonparent, or by other nonparents.
  206         (f)Specify the frequency, duration, and means, including
  207  electronic means, by which the deploying parent will have
  208  contact with the child, any role to be played by the other
  209  parent or nonparent in facilitating the contact, and the
  210  allocation of any costs of contact.
  211         (g)Specify contact between the deploying parent and child
  212  during the time the deploying parent is on leave or is otherwise
  213  available.
  214         (h)Acknowledge that the agreement does not modify any
  215  existing child support obligation and that changing the terms of
  216  the obligation during deployment requires modification in the
  217  appropriate court.
  218         (i)Provide that the agreement will terminate according to
  219  the procedures under this part after the deploying parent
  220  returns from deployment.
  221         (j)Specify which parent is required to file the agreement
  222  if the agreement must be filed pursuant to s. 61.729.
  223         (4)The omission of any item in subsection (3) does not
  224  invalidate the agreement.
  225         61.723Nature of authority created by custodial
  226  responsibility agreement.—
  227         (1)An agreement granting custodial responsibility during
  228  deployment is temporary and terminates after the deploying
  229  parent returns from deployment unless the agreement has been
  230  terminated before that time by court order or modification under
  231  s. 61.725. The agreement does not create an independent,
  232  continuing right to caretaking authority, decisionmaking
  233  authority, or limited contact for an individual granted
  234  custodial responsibility.
  235         (2)A nonparent granted caretaking authority,
  236  decisionmaking authority, or limited contact by agreement has
  237  standing to enforce the agreement until it is terminated by
  238  court order or under s. 61.761, or modified under s. 61.725.
  239         61.725Modification of agreement.—
  240         (1)The parents of a child may modify an agreement granting
  241  custodial responsibility by mutual consent.
  242         (2)If an agreement is modified before deployment of a
  243  deploying parent, the modification must be in writing and signed
  244  by both parents and any nonparent granted custodial
  245  responsibility under the modified agreement.
  246         (3)If an agreement is modified during deployment of a
  247  deploying parent, the modification must be agreed to in a record
  248  by both parents and any nonparent granted custodial
  249  responsibility.
  250         61.727Power of attorney.—A deploying parent may, by power
  251  of attorney, grant all or part of custodial responsibility to an
  252  adult nonparent for the period of deployment if no other parent
  253  possesses custodial responsibility, or if a court order
  254  currently in effect prohibits contact between the child and the
  255  other parent. The deploying parent may revoke the power of
  256  attorney by signing a revocation of the power of attorney.
  257         61.729Filing custodial responsibility agreement or power
  258  of attorney with court.—An agreement or power of attorney must
  259  be filed within a reasonable time with a court that has entered
  260  an order in effect relating to custodial responsibility or child
  261  support concerning the child who is the subject of the agreement
  262  or power. The case number and heading of the pending case
  263  concerning custodial responsibility or child support must be
  264  provided to the court with the agreement or power.
  265         61.733Proceeding for temporary custody order.—
  266         (1)After a deploying parent receives notice of deployment
  267  and until the deployment terminates, a court may issue a
  268  temporary order granting custodial responsibility unless
  269  prohibited by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Title 50,
  270  Appendix U.S.C. ss. 501 et seq. A court may not issue a
  271  permanent order granting custodial responsibility without the
  272  consent of the deploying parent.
  273         (2)(a)At any time after a deploying parent receives notice
  274  of deployment, either parent may file a motion regarding
  275  custodial responsibility of a child during deployment. The
  276  motion must be filed in a pending proceeding for custodial
  277  responsibility in a court with jurisdiction under s. 61.707 or,
  278  if a pending proceeding does not exist in a court with
  279  jurisdiction under s. 61.707, the motion must be filed in a new
  280  action for granting custodial responsibility during deployment.
  281         (b)If a motion to grant custodial responsibility is filed
  282  under paragraph (a) before a deploying parent deploys, the court
  283  shall conduct an expedited hearing.
  284         61.735Testimony by electronic means.—In a proceeding for a
  285  temporary custody order, a party or witness who is not
  286  reasonably able to appear in person may appear, provide
  287  testimony, and present evidence by electronic means unless the
  288  court finds good cause to require in-person testimony.
  289         61.737Effect of prior judicial order or agreement.—In a
  290  proceeding for a temporary grant of custodial responsibility:
  291         (1)A prior judicial order granting custodial
  292  responsibility in the event of deployment is binding on the
  293  court unless circumstances meet the requirements authorized by
  294  general law for modifying a judicial order regarding custodial
  295  responsibility.
  296         (2)The court shall enforce a prior written agreement
  297  between the parents for granting custodial responsibility in the
  298  event of deployment, including an agreement for custodial
  299  responsibility during deployment, unless the court finds that
  300  the agreement is not in the best interest of the child.
  301         61.739Grant of caretaking authority to nonparent.—
  302         (1)Upon the motion of a deploying parent and in accordance
  303  with general law, if it is in the best interest of the child, a
  304  court may grant caretaking authority to a nonparent who is an
  305  adult family member of the child or an adult with whom the child
  306  has a close and substantial relationship.
  307         (2)Unless a grant of caretaking authority to a nonparent
  308  is agreed to by the other parent, the grant is limited to an
  309  amount of time that may not exceed:
  310         (a)The amount of time granted to the deploying parent
  311  under a permanent custody order; however, the court may add
  312  travel time necessary to transport the child; or
  313         (b)In the absence of a permanent custody order that is
  314  currently in effect, the amount of time the deploying parent
  315  habitually cared for the child before being notified of
  316  deployment; however, the court may add travel time necessary to
  317  transport the child.
  318         (3)If the deploying parent is unable to exercise
  319  decisionmaking authority, a court may grant part of that
  320  authority to a nonparent who is an adult family member of the
  321  child or an adult with whom the child has a close and
  322  substantial relationship. If a court grants the authority to a
  323  nonparent, the court shall specify the decisionmaking powers
  324  granted.
  325         61.741Grant of limited contact.—A court shall grant
  326  limited contact to a nonparent who is a family member of the
  327  child or an individual with whom the child has a close and
  328  substantial relationship on motion of a deploying parent and in
  329  accordance with general law unless the court finds that limited
  330  contact with a nonparent would not be in the best interest of
  331  the child.
  332         61.743Nature of authority created by temporary custody
  333  order.—
  334         (1)A grant of authority is temporary and terminates after
  335  the deploying parent returns from deployment unless the grant
  336  has been terminated before that time by court order. The grant
  337  does not create an independent, continuing right to caretaking
  338  authority, decisionmaking authority, or limited contact to an
  339  individual granted temporary custody.
  340         (2)A nonparent granted caretaking authority,
  341  decisionmaking authority, or limited contact has standing to
  342  enforce the grant until it is terminated by court order or under
  343  this part.
  344         61.745Content of temporary custody order.—An order
  345  granting custodial responsibility, when applicable, must:
  346         (1)Designate the order as temporary and provide for
  347  termination after the deploying parent returns from deployment.
  348         (2)Identify, to the extent feasible, the destination,
  349  duration, and conditions of the deployment.
  350         (3)Specify the allocation of caretaking authority,
  351  decisionmaking authority, or limited contact among the deploying
  352  parent, the other parent, and any nonparent.
  353         (4)Provide a process to resolve any dispute that may arise
  354  if the order divides caretaking or decisionmaking authority
  355  between individuals, or grants caretaking authority to one
  356  individual and limited contact to another individual.
  357         (5)Provide for liberal communication between the deploying
  358  parent and the child during deployment, including through
  359  electronic means, unless it is not in the best interest of the
  360  child, and allocate any costs of communication.
  361         (6)Provide for liberal contact between the deploying
  362  parent and the child during the time the deploying parent is on
  363  leave or otherwise available, unless it is not in the best
  364  interest of the child.
  365         (7)Provide for reasonable contact between the deploying
  366  parent and the child after the parent’s return from deployment
  367  until the temporary order is terminated, even if the time of
  368  contact exceeds the time the deploying parent spent with the
  369  child before entry of the temporary order.
  370         61.747Order for child support.—If a court has issued an
  371  order granting caretaking authority, or an agreement granting
  372  caretaking authority has been executed, the court may enter a
  373  temporary order for child support authorized by general law if
  374  the court has jurisdiction under the Uniform Interstate Family
  375  Support Act.
  376         61.749Modifying or terminating grant of custodial
  377  responsibility or limited contact to nonparent.—
  378         (1)Except for an agreement under s. 61.723, or as
  379  otherwise provided in subsection (2), and consistent with the
  380  Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, Title 50, Appendix U.S.C. ss.
  381  501 et seq., a court may modify or terminate a temporary grant
  382  of custodial responsibility on motion of a deploying parent,
  383  other parent, or any nonparent granted caretaking authority if
  384  the modification or termination is consistent with this part and
  385  is in the best interest of the child. A modification is
  386  temporary and terminates after the deploying parent returns from
  387  deployment, unless the grant has been terminated before that
  388  time by court order.
  389         (2)The court shall terminate a grant of limited contact on
  390  motion of a deploying parent.
  391         61.761Procedure for terminating temporary agreement
  392  granting custodial responsibility.—
  393         (1)After a deploying parent returns from deployment, a
  394  deploying parent and the other parent may file with the court an
  395  agreement to terminate a temporary order for custodial
  396  responsibility.
  397         (2)After an agreement has been filed, it shall terminate:
  398         (a)On the date specified on an agreement to terminate
  399  under subsection (1); or
  400         (b)On the date the agreement is signed by the deploying
  401  parent and the other parent if the agreement to terminate does
  402  not specify a date.
  403         (3)In the absence of an agreement to terminate under (1),
  404  a temporary agreement granting custodial responsibility
  405  terminates 60 days after the deploying parent gives notice of
  406  return from deployment to the other parent.
  407         (4)If a temporary agreement granting custodial
  408  responsibility was filed with a court pursuant to s. 61.729, an
  409  agreement to terminate must be filed with the court within a
  410  reasonable time after the deploying parent and other parent sign
  411  the agreement. The case number and heading of the case
  412  concerning custodial responsibility or child support must be
  413  provided to the court with the agreement to terminate.
  414         (5)A proceeding seeking to prevent termination of a
  415  temporary order for custodial responsibility is governed by
  416  general law.
  417         61.763Visitation before termination of temporary grant of
  418  custodial responsibility.—From the time a deploying parent
  419  returns from deployment until a temporary agreement or order for
  420  custodial responsibility is terminated, the court shall issue a
  421  temporary order granting the deploying parent reasonable contact
  422  with the child even if the time of contact exceeds the time the
  423  deploying parent spent with the child before deployment unless
  424  it is not in the best interest of the child.
  425         61.771Relation to electronic signatures in Global and
  426  National Commerce Act.—This act modifies, limits, or supersedes
  427  the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act,
  428  15 U.S.C. s. 7001 et seq., but does not modify, limit, or
  429  supersede s. 101(c) of that act, 15 U.S.C. s. 7001(c), or
  430  authorize electronic delivery of any of the notices described in
  431  s. 103(b) of that act, 15 U.S.C. s. 7003(b).
  432         61.773Applicability.—This act does not affect the validity
  433  of a temporary court order concerning custodial responsibility
  434  during deployment entered before July 1, 2018.
  435         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.