Munoz v. Munoz (Second DCA, February 3, 2017)

The trial court entered a final judgment that significantly restricted the father’s timesharing rights with the children by: (1) implementing a 3-tiered phase-in for the father’s daytime timesharing; and (2) failing to award the father any overnight visitation even after completion of the phase-in plan.  The father appealed and the Second District reversed.

Although the record lacked a transcript, the District Court was able to reverse based on errors on the face of the judgment.  First, the tiered phase-in plan was patently inappropriate given that the child’s therapist was in charge of determining whether the father could enter the second and third phases of the plan.  This arrangement constituted an improper delegation of the court’s authority to a third-party and therefore reversible error.

Second, the Court stressed that an order that restricts or denies meaningful visitation “must clearly set forth the steps the parent must take in order to reestablish time-sharing with the children.”  The order at issue violated this rule in that it failed to clearly provide a means by which the father could establish overnight timesharing.  Accordingly, the order was necessarily reversed and remanded.