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Can A Parent Be Arrested For Withholding A Child On Visitation In Florida?

Yes, if a parent receives a child for visitation (now known as time sharing) and refuses to return the child to the other parent, he or she can be arrested. In Florida, refusing to allow the child to spend time with the other parent as scheduled in the court-ordered timesharing plan is contempt of court and can result in arrest.

More often, though, if police are called to enforce a timesharing plan they are more likely to require the violating parent to surrender the child to the other parent and allow the matter to be resolved in court. However, if the parent refuses, police may arrest the parent. If the matter does go to court, the violating parent may be sentenced to jail if the court deems the violation serious enough or if the parent has violated the parenting and timesharing plans on several occasions.

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Additional information about visitation and timesharing law in Florida can be found on these pages of our web site: