Custody Disputes in Florida
In Florida, child custody awards are determined according to the best interest of the child. Florida courts prefer shared parental responsibility and visitation rights. However, an equal time-sharing schedule is not always easy to obtain. In situations where the judge believes a shared timesharing schedule is detrimental to the well-being of the child, they may limit or revoke parental custody rights.
Parenting Plans and The Best Interest of the Child
The courts of the state of Florida determine custody rights under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The courts prefer that each child has frequent contact with both parents and encourage parents to share the responsibilities and joys of childrearing. Both parents will share parenting responsibility for the minor child unless the judge finds that it would be detrimental to the child. Judges are impartial to all parties and hold no presumption against the father or mother of the child when creating or modifying a parenting plan.
In Florida, a parenting plan needs to be created and approved by the court before a judge can award a custody agreement. Parenting plans are designed to facilitate the process of childrearing by setting forth expectations and avoiding conflicts. Both parents will need to arrive at a consensus about how to raise their minor children and how each parent will participate in the child’s upbringing. The plan will need to include custody and time-sharing agreements, school, healthcare matters, and any other relevant circumstances. The deal will also need to anticipate possible issues and solutions to resolve each situation.
If parents fail to come up with an agreement or create a plan the judge does not approve, the court will step in and eliminate a lot of control from the parents. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both parties to establish an acceptable plan.
Factors Considered by The Court
When reviewing a parenting plan, and ultimately granting custody, a Florida judge will consider all relevant factors, including the child’s needs and each parent’s ability to meet them. A judge may also take into consideration any evidence of abuse, neglect, or child abandonment when deliberating what is in the best interest of the child. Depending on the circumstances, the court will award one parent sole custody or both parents joint custody.
50/50 Custody and Child Support
A parent requesting joint custody must be confident that they can assume the responsibility of 50/50 custody. You will need to prove to the court that you are capable of arranging your schedule in a way that allows you to handle all of the challenges associated with equal time-sharing.
Joint physical custody does not necessarily mean that child support payments are unnecessary. In Florida, each parent’s income and the amount of time they spend with the child determine child support. In theory, child support would be zero if both parents had joint custody and earned the same income. However, this is rare, and the parent who makes more money will almost always be ordered to pay child support.
Getting Started on Your Custody Case
Child custody disputes can be a living nightmare. Getting help from an experienced family law and child custody attorney can help you protect your parental rights and get the most from your parenting plan. With so much at stake, legal representation can ensure that your best interests are being advocated throughout every level of your case. Don’t risk the relationship you have with your children. Call an attorney and face your custody case with confidence.