Florida Divorce and Child Custody

Child custody is complicated to deal with, especially if opposing parents are involved. It becomes even more complicated when there is a contested divorce. In Florida, child custody laws are designed in such a way that both parents can work together to provide a better upbringing for their child. It’s the responsibility of both parents to provide maintenance, education, and any care that’s needed for their child. Determining who will be responsible for child custody depends on a lot of factors, it will be determined based on whether the parent is morally fit to take care of the child and also the age level of the child will also be considered.
In Florida, the laws that govern custody of children fall under UCCJEA. It states that the care of any child should be in the state that the child resides in. State of residence is the state which the child stayed for the past six months consecutively or the state which the child lives after birth if the child in question is less than six (6) months.
Child Custody Cases
The county court where the lawsuit was filed will determine who should have custody of the child and how much child support. If the child reaches a certain age the child may be able to decide which parent he wants to have as the primary custodian. Based on Florida’s child custody laws it is a requirement that the child stays in touch with both parents. The parents are expected to share the responsibilities for taking care of the child.
As long as the parents don’t have any immoral character, they’ll be responsible for taking care of their child and have equal time-sharing and parental responsibility. Parental responsibility involves making the right decision that will affect the well being of the child.
When divorce arises, and the parents are at dispute on who should take care of the child, the court will decide on the responsibility of each parent. Florida passed a law in 2008 that prohibits one single parent from having full child custody. Instead of having child custody, it’s now called “time-sharing,” in this case, the court will allocate the time for each parent.
Before the court concludes time-sharing in Florida, the parents are expected to enroll in parenting classes that will help them take care of their child in a reasonable manner. There are situations where the parent will be forced to attend classes that are formulated for parents who are going through the process of divorce. If the two parents can settle between themselves regarding the child custody and visitation, they will submit the decision they had made for approval in the court.
So you can now see that in Florida, there isn’t single parent custody unless a parent has proven to be immoral. Joint legal custody is applied when it is considered in the best interest of the child. Both parents should take responsibility when it comes to education, medical care, and other important decisions. Parenting will be shared equally between the parents. Like it’s been said earlier, the court has the right to provide sole custody to only one parent if joint parenting if found to be harmful to any child.
If both parents are looking for sole custody, then the judge will make a decision based on the best interest of the child and considered other factors before making a final decision such as mental and physical health,  as well as moral fitness. More considerations may be given to the parent who has been taken care of the child since birth.
It is in the best interest of the parents to settle their disputes when it comes to child custody and responsibilities. It will save both parents time and money. If, however, you reach a stage where one parent is contesting joint care or sole primary custody, you may consider hiring a lawyer who can deal with the situation. If you have any complaints or questions regarding divorce and child custody you should call us at Massey & Duffy for a free consultation, we’re available to answer your questions and can provide the assistance you need.


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