Orlando Child Custody Lawyer
How Is Child Custody Determined in Florida?
The child’s best interests are always the priority when deciding upon custody. The courts will evaluate several factors that contribute to this decision, in order to ensure the child has the best chance to thrive emotionally, physically, and mentally well into adulthood.
These factors include:
- The child’s current home situation
- How each parent plans to financially support the child
- How each parent plans to continue building a relationship with the child
- Whether or not a parent has had trouble with substance abuse or alcoholism
- The child’s educational, religious, or medical needs
- Each parent’s ability to make decisions together on raising their child
If at all possible, the courts will try to seek a joint custody situation to maintain the child’s relationship with both parents. If the child is old enough and can reasonably voice his or her concerns, their wishes will also be considered.
In Florida, the term time sharing is used to describe child custody and visitation arrangements. Time-sharing orders are issued by a court and must be adhered to by both parents of a child. If you have a time-sharing concern or if you’re unclear about how the law relates to you and your child or children, an experienced child custody lawyer can help you find a solution to your family law matter. Let Conti Moore Law, PLLC help you resolve your time-sharing issue.
How Is Custody Modified in Orlando?
Our Orlando child custody attorneys can help you find specific answers to important questions like:
- Is an unmarried mother of a child the default custodian? In many cases, but it depends on the situation.
- Does a mother have to let a father see his child? It depends on the situation. When paternity is established, a father can obtain visitation rights.
- How does child support relate to time sharing? Florida courts use formulas to dictate if child support will be paid, and, if so, how much. We can help you understand how these formulas relate to your situation.
- Why is the Florida Department of Revenue involved in my custody situation? If your child was born outside a marriage, the Department of Revenue may intervene if benefits are being paid by the state.
- Can I increase the amount of time I spend with my son or daughter? In some situations, you can petition a court for modification of your time-sharing or child custody order.
- What if the mother or father of my child is not being cooperative about custody or visitation arrangements? We can help you pursue enforcement of time-sharing orders if the other parent is not allowing you to see your child.
How Does Florida Define Unfit Parent?
While defining a parent as unfit for custody is not a decision to be made lightly, it is important to do so when necessary to protect the best interests of the child. In Florida, according to Florida Statute 751.05, a parent is unfit if a parent cannot provide for the care and control of the child. This includes finding that the parent has abused, abandoned, or neglected the child. Additionally, a parent might be determined unfit if there is a history of substance abuse or mental illness.
Additional Child Custody FAQs in Florida
- Who pays child support if the parents have equal time-sharing? There are several factors for determining who pays child support and how much, some of these include: income, percentage of time-sharing, health insurance, and others costs such as daycare. Generally, if a parent has a greater percentage of time-sharing, then that parent will often receive child support.
- Can I withhold visitation rights from my ex-spouse if child support is not paid? No. Visitation (known as “time-sharing” in Florida) and child support are separate matters that the court decides. You cannot use one as leverage against the other. Instead, if your ex-spouse has not paid the required child support, you can petition the court to resolve the matter.
- Can I modify the time-sharing orders? It is possible to modify time-sharing orders if there has been a significant change in circumstances since the last order. No matter what, modifications must always be in the best interest of the child.
- Are mothers favored in child custody disputes? Mothers used to be favored in custody disputes, especially when the child is in the “tender years”. However, Florida no longer adheres to the “tender years” doctrine and does not give preference to either gender when deciding time-sharing matters.
- What are temporary orders? Temporary orders are created when the divorce process has started but is not yet finalized. This allows certain things to be managed while waiting for the divorce to be final. Oftentimes, temporary orders become final once the divorce is official.
Our Orlando child custody attorney can go over the details of your situation during a free consultation. By better understanding your goals, we can help you take the steps that will protect your interests. Call today and get started.
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