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Grandparent Entitled to Makeup Time-Sharing (Visitation) Where Out Of State Time-Sharing Judgment Was Entitled to Full Faith and Credit

June 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

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While the Florida Statutes do not provide for grandparents to have time-sharing like parents, an out of state Judgment domesticated in Florida is entitled to full faith and credit and can be enforced in Florida.   The Fifth District Court of Appeals for the State of Florida just reversed a trial court decision that did not provide for make up time-sharing for a grandparent based upon the argument that the Florida Statutes do not provide such a remedy to grandparents. The Fifth District Court of Appeals reversed reasoning that restricting the remedies available to a grandparent would be tantamount to not giving full faith and credit to the out of state judgment and that the remedy is available to enforce an out of state judgment. So just because Florida does not itself provide for grandparents to have time-sharing as if they were parents it does not mean that an out of state decision that they are entitled to such time-sharing shall not be given full faith and credit and enforced.

The Court stated:

“The Florida Supreme Court stated in no uncertain terms that the Colorado grandparent visitation order—which was entered in compliance with the Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act of 1980 (PKPA) —is by the express terms of the PKPA subject to the commands of the Full Faith and Credit Clause. Ledoux-Nottingham, 210 So. 3d at 1221. In order to give the Colorado order full faith and credit, the grandparents are entitled to enforce their grandparent visitation rights in Florida. The remedy provided in the Florida Statutes due to a party’s refusal to honor timesharing rights is make-up timesharing to the nonoffending party under section 61.13(4)(c). See § 61.13(4)(c), Fla. Stat. (2013) (stating a court shall award make-up timesharing where the refusal is “without proper cause”). In this sense, make-up visitation “square[s] the loss of past visitation rights.” Morales v. Morales, 915 So. 2d 247, 249 n.1 (Fla. 5th DCA 2005). Furthermore, section 61.526, titled “Duty to enforce,” authorizes the award of “any remedy” to enforce another state’s child custody determination. § 61.526, Fla. Stat. (2013). We construe these provisions together, and conclude that the grandparents are entitled to pursue the remedy of make-up visitation. As a result, we reverse and remand this matter to the trial court for determination of the issue of make-up visitation. The trial court must determine whether it would be in the children’s best interest for the grandparents to receive make-up visitation and if so, order timesharing in a manner fitting the best interests of the children. See Cheek v. Hesik, 73 So. 3d 340 (Fla. 1st DCA 2011).”

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