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From deployment to spending time away from loved ones, members of the military may face a number of challenges. However, in Lee County, and across Florida, military service may also have an impact on parenting time. For parents who serve in the military (or share parenting responsibilities with a military member), it is vital to understand how the laws in this state could affect their set of circumstances.

According to the Florida Legislature, if a parent is unable to act in accordance with time-sharing responsibilities due to military deployment, the court will typically not make modifications to his or her time-sharing schedule once they are deployed. That said, plans are sometimes temporarily modified if a court is convinced there is solid evidence that the modification would serve a child’s best interests while his or her parent is deployed. In such cases, courts will attempt to facilitate contact (such as phone calls, online interaction, etc.) between a member of the armed forces and his or her child.

The Florida Senate states that when parents face more than 90 days of deployment and their military service prevents them from complying with their parental responsibilities, they may appoint an individual to act on their behalf with regard to time-sharing. However, they can only appoint someone who is a member of the family, related to the child through marriage or a step-parent. If the child’s other parent believes that the appointment would not serve the child’s best interests, they may object and ask for a court hearing.