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About Office of Social Investigation and Study

Description

Investigators contracted by the Office of Social Investigation and Study assist the Family Law division in instances where child custody is in dispute by completing investigations that evaluate family functioning in the context of Florida Statute 61.13 (Subsections 3 a-t) and providing recommendations pertaining to the establishment or modification of a Parenting /Time Share plan.

History

Initially referred to as the Office of Child Custody Investigations, the Office of Social Investigations and Study was established by Administrative Order in 1994 to provide the Family Law Division in this circuit with an investigative report on issues pertaining to child custody, visitation, relocation, parental alienation and grandparent and third party interests in initial and post-judgment proceedings. While the program has been of notable benefit to the court, in a significant number of cases, some of the labels used in Family Law to distinguish parental roles and responsibilities inadvertently led litigants and third parties involved to the unintended presumption that one parent was afforded more influence in decisions affecting the minor children. In response to increased litigation relative to these issues and in an effort to have more amicable resolutions of family disputes, the terms “Primary and Secondary Residential parent, Custody and Visitation” were replaced with language that references a “Parenting Plan” that includes a “Time-Sharing” component. Subsequent to the approval of the state of Florida Supreme Court, these changes to Florida Statute 61.13 became effective on October 1, 2008. Correspondingly, the name of the office was subsequently changed to the Office of Social Investigation and Study (OSIS).

Performance Measures

None at this time