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Can the Court Order Timesharing for a Disabled Adult Child?


Once a disabled child becomes an adult can the court order additional timesharing? Under Florida child custody laws, the court does not have jurisdiction to order timesharing once a child becomes 18 years of age, regardless of the child disabilities. Once a disable child reaches 18 years of age or older, the court no longer has the ability to order timesharing between parents. In a recent case, Hardman v. Koslowski, the First District Court of Appeal tackled the issue of revolving the allowance of timesharing once a disabled child reaches adult age.

Under the Uniform Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the word child is defined as "an individual who has not attained 18 years of age." So regardless of the child's mental and physical state, a parent cannot be granted additional time sharing time once the child becomes a majority.

Hardman v. Koslowski

The case regarding this issue, Hardman v. Koslowski, involved divorced parties who have a disabled son who suffers from acute epileptic condition that hinders his mental and physical capabilities. Once the son became 18 years old , the father, who resides in Florida, tried to have the court appoint him additional timesharing with his son, who lives in Washington State with his mother and stepfather.

The trial court agreed and ordered additional timesharing. However, the appellate court disagreed with the court's decision and overturned the order, claiming the trial court no longer had jurisdiction over the matter of timesharing since the disabled child became a majority.

Even though time sharing rules are not recognized in this case, child support laws are different for each specific case. After a child reaches majority, trial court has the jurisdiction to order child support payments to continue due to the disabled child's incapacities. The case was resolved on the idea that the court may order either or both parents who owe a duty of care/support to pay child support to the other parent.

For more information regarding time sharing, contact Hutchinson Law to speak with a seasoned Jacksonville family law attorney today.