The divorce rate in Florida is around 50% in first marriages. Many of these couples have children and require a child custody agreement. Florida abandoned the traditional terms of custody in favor of parental responsibility and time-sharing. Florida’s custody laws favor both parents to remain active in their children’s lives. Therefore, courts prefer to see parenting plans and time-sharing plans that provide equal access for the child with each parent.
The Florida statutes detail both child support and child custody in title VI, Chapter 61. Support of children; parenting and time-sharing; and powers of the court. In a proceeding under this chapter, the court may at any time order either or both parents who owe a duty of support to a child to pay support to the other parent or, in the case of both parents, to a third party who has custody in accordance with the child support guidelines. The circuit court in the county in which either parent and the child reside or the circuit court in which the original order approving or creating the parenting plan will be in charge of the parenting plan. The court may change the venue in accordance.
The Florida Court System Wants Equal Parenting
The state feels that minor children should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents upon the divorce or separation of the parents. The well-being of the child is the court’s main consideration when choosing who the primary custodial parent is and how the time shared is handled. If the court feels that one parent is unfit or a threat to the child, the parent will have limited or no visitation even if they pay child support.
Rights Of An Unmarried Father To A Child
In Florida, the law only automatically recognizes a child’s mother as the legal custodian if the child is born before the parents are married. Even when a father’s name is on a child’s birth certificate, he is not automatically awarded a father’s legal rights. Under Florida law, the mother is the natural guardian of a child born outside of marriage. The mother will automatically have legal custody of the child in the event an unmarried couple separates.
Florida Parenting Plan Approved By The Florida Supreme Court
A Parenting Plan is required in all cases involving time-sharing with a minor child or children, even when timesharing is not in dispute. The Parenting Plan must be developed and agreed to by the parents and approved by the court. If the parties cannot agree to a Parenting Plan or if the parents agreed to a plan that is not approved by the court, a Parenting Plan will be established by the court with or without the use of parenting plan recommendations. There are specific forms that must be used by the parents in the process of divorce.
Handling Impaired Parents During A Child Custody Case
All parents go through a rough time when dealing with the grief of separation and divorce. But a parent suffering from alcoholism or drug abuse, to the extent that they are not able to function properly for their minor children, is usually the type of situation in which the court must immediately intervene. The court looks at the mental and physical abilities of that parent. The court wants the parents to work together to raise the children through good communication, regular routines, and a unified front to protect the children. The responsibility will fall on the parent with the issue to prove to the court that they are doing well, and that is in the best interest of the child to have a substantial relationship with their parent.
The State of Florida has been shying away from the term “custody” and has been assigning “parental responsibility,” instead. As long as the involvement of both parents in the child’s life is in the best interest of the child, each parent will be assigned parental responsibility for the child. The verbiage “time-sharing” has proven to set a more positive tone and ease tension among parents.
Are you going through a divorce or trying to retain custody of your child? Do you need help with Estate Planning? Maybe you need help with something else that involves your family? At Akilah Harris PLLC., we understand that family law cases are uniquely stressful and often take a heavy emotional toll on families. Our family law offices in Pembroke Pines and Fort Lauderdale Flordia offer compassionate and thorough legal counsel to our clients. Consult with us when you need to protect your finances, assets, and time with your child. In these highly personal disputes, you need to rely on an experienced Broward County Attorney who knows how to defend your rights.