Divorce is a complicated matter with many ups and downs, while there is always property and assets that need to be divided, children are not always part of the divorce proceedings. However, when children are involved, an already complicated situation can become unmanageable because something that is entirely logistical becomes an emotional endeavor for all involved.
In this scenario, communication with experienced legal counsel is paramount if your spouse is being uncooperative and not putting the well-being of the child above all else. If you are seeking custody of your child contact our family attorneys today.
Jessica Stewart offers an aggressive and compassionate approach to her client’s legal custody issues and is known for handling the emerald coast area’s higher profile cases with grace and discretion.
How Child Custody Is Determined in Florida
In the State of Florida a “Petition for Dissolution” needs to come with a “Parenting Plan”, a basic outline of how the parents plan to raise their child after they are divorced. This plan must be fully agreed upon by a child’s parents. In some cases, the agreement can be mediated by an attorney and submitted on behalf of the parents, or can be filled out by the courts in cases where it is necessary to intervene.
The Parenting Plan Includes Subjects Such As:
- Information Sharing
- Foreign and Out of State Travel
- Day to Day Decisions
- Extra-Curricular Activities
The goal of the parenting plan is to come to a peaceful, legal, and uncomplicated resolution that is in the best interest of the child. In addition, this document outlines each parent’s legal rights in terms of custody, so that there are no complications in the future.
Sole & Joint Custody
Joint custody of a child is the ideal outcome where both parents are caring for and involved in a child’s life. When it comes to joint custody it is important to outline the initial scheduling of a parent’s time-sharing rights (legally deciding the parent’s time involvement with their child). This can come in the form of fully divided custody, where a child lives equally among each parent, or when they are permitted visitation and vacation rights.
One parent might have the majority of the time with the child, but it is also important to keep in mind that both parents have rights unless otherwise stated. In cases of majority custody, schedules for holidays and school breaks are crucial to outline so that there is no confusion between the parents that starts another costly legal battle down the road. If a parent has majority custody, it is important to outline a schedule of visitation rights now during the initial family law proceeding, rather than later.
Cases of sole custody are usually reserved for cases when a parent is neglectful or abusive, and all the rights are given to a single parent. In this case, one parent carries all the rights to decision making and visitation rights. If the other parent is granted visitation, the legal guardian must outline the supervision requirements during meetings, guidelines on exchanging the child, transportation to and from the exchange, and times when it is appropriate to communicate with the child. All custody rights are contingent on the agreed upon plan presented when filing for dissolution.
If you need assistance securing the child support you need and defending your parental rights, we would be happy to meet with you and discuss your options. We represent clients throughout the Northwest Florida region and all along the emerald coast. Destin Law is known for it’s discreet approach to all matters of litigation, but especially in regard to family law. Contact us today at (850) 837-3662 or click here.
To get in touch with our professionals regarding your situation, call us at (850) 290-4733 or fill out the form below.