Tager Law Firm, P.A.

Child Custody

. Posted in Divorce Attorney

Child Custody, Parental Responsibility and Parenting Plan

When parents divorce, they face the tough questions of where their child will live and who will provide care.  Our family law lawyers understand how difficult these emotional circumstances can be for both parents and children.

Florida judges consider the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of child rearing. There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.

Child Custody / Time Sharing

Child Custody or time-sharing,  is awarded by the Judge, depending on the circumstances of the divorce and the parents,  a number of ways.  Child custody or time-sharing is awarded in one of four different ways:

  • Temporary custody: This is the situation while the divorce is being litigated. The Court will award custody, if the    parents are unable towork it out themselves. The COurt will order the custody of the children will done in one of the three ways below.
  • Shared custody. Each parent shares the children on a division agreeable to both, or as ordered by the Court. it can be the Mother has the children 50 percent an dthe faher has 50 persent or any other combination. The chidren usually travel and stay with one another while they split their living arrangements with their parents.
  • Split custody: With two or more children, each parent has custody of a different child so the children are not always together with the same parent. (I am not a huge fan of this but there are times it can be necessary)
  • Sole custody: One parent alone has custody of the child or children.

Parenting Plan

"Parenting plan" is a document created to govern the relationship between the parties relating to the decisions that must be made regarding the minor child and shall contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child's education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being.

If the parents cannot agree, the court shall have ultimate decision making in determining all matters relating to parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.

Parental responsibility

Being a parent brings with it certain obligations and rights. This is called  "Parental Responsibility". Parental obligations are straight forward. You must care for and support your children, emotionally as well as financially. Parental rights are little more involved.  Parental rights may include the ability to either make decisions for the children uniltareally or to have input and a say to decisions that affect a child. Examples of this that may affect a child include schooling, religious observation, medical decisions, extracircular activities, piercings, etc... Parental responsibility describes the right and obligation of a parent to make decisions that affect a child.  When responsibility is shared, major decisions are descided by both parents  but the parent with the physical custody of the children at any given time makes those day to ay decisions.

When a parent has sole responsibility, that parent makes all the decisions affecting the child.


Determining custody and parental responsibility

The Court will determine what is in the best interest of the children and assign parenal responsibility accordingly. Even if teh parents come to an agreement, the Court ill still evaluate that agreement to ensure it is in the bst interest of the child. The Court usually gives great deference to parents that come to an agreement. 

Courts consider the following factos when determing child custody and responsibilities:

A Florida family court will establish child custody or time-sharing based on the best interests of the child. In determining best interests of the child, a court will consider the following factors:

  • Each parent's willingness to encourage and support a relationship between the child and the other parent, to   honor a time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes occur.
  • Each parent's ability to respond to the child's needs as opposed his/her own needs.
  • The mental, physical, and emotional health of the parent.
  • The stability of the child's home environment.
  • Any history of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
  • Each parent's ability to be involved with the child's school and extracurricular activities.

Call the Tager Law Firm for a consultation. (727) 723-1616