Do you have questions about child custody in Florida? Are you trying to agree on parenting time arrangements or make a modification to a child custody order? This Florida child custody guide can help you understand some of the issues that the Orlando, FL family law attorneys at Conti Moore Law, PLLC handle regularly.
Our Orlando child custody attorneys help families through difficult emotional decisions with a constant focus on what is best for the children involved. We have over 50 years of combined family law experience and can help you navigate even the most challenging aspects of your child custody case.
Table of Contents
How Can Conti Moore Law, PLLC Help With Child Custody Issues in Florida?
We are dedicated to helping our clients achieve their goals during what is possibly the most difficult time in their lives. We keep the focus on your children and help minimize the stress and anxiety that custody issues can bring.
Our commitment to client service is reflected in numerous accolades, including four consecutive years as Super Lawyers Rising Stars and a perfect 10.0 on Avvo, a highly-respected legal rating service.
When our Orlando family law lawyers guide you through your custody case, we’ll:
- Keep your children’s interests at the forefront of all time-sharing agreements
- Handle all communications and negotiations with the other parent or their attorney, minimizing potentially contentious encounters
- Gather all documentation to support your desired parenting plan
- Assist with the modification of child custody orders
- Address child support and other issues related to shared parental responsibilities
- Explore possibilities for mediation or other non-adversarial options to resolve custody issues
- Represent you in all meetings and court proceedings
We have helped many families achieve workable solutions when obstacles seemed insurmountable, whether due to relocations, financial setbacks, or job loss. Divorce can be difficult, but it does not have to subject your child to negative consequences.
Call or contact us online to learn more about our process and what we can do for you and your family. Initial consultations are always free.
How Does the Court Decide Custody Disputes in Florida?
Florida strives to ensure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after a divorce. The court will consider the best interests of the child in any custody matter. The specific factors will differ in each case, and the court takes a holistic approach and considers the entire situation when making its decision.
Some factors the court considers include:
- Each parent’s relationship with the child
- Each parent’s living situation, including the amount the child will have to travel to implement the proposed parenting plan
- The capacity of each parent to maintain a close relationship with the child
- The ability of each parent to act in their child’s interest rather than their own
- The mental and physical health of each parent
A parenting plan is required in all shared custody cases, even if you and the other parent agree on the terms of shared parenting responsibilities and parenting time.
What Must Be Included in the Parenting Plan?
The parenting plan must be approved by the court and must address:
- Daily tasks: How the parties will share the everyday responsibilities associated with the child’s upbringing
- Time-sharing schedule: How and when each parent will spend time with the child(ren)
- Major health/school decisions: Should include which parent’s address will be used for school registration
- Communication and technology: Will the parents communicate with the child by phone? FaceTime? Zoom?
Each parenting plan is individual, but it should address all major aspects of the child’s life and each parent’s role in decision-making.
Can I Change My Custody Arrangement?
Yes, if certain circumstances exist. You can petition the court to modify an existing custody order if you can prove there is a substantial change in circumstances from when the original order was entered.
Examples of circumstances that may lead to a modification of a custody agreement include:
- A parent needs to relocate for a new job
- A parent is unable to meet the terms of the existing order
- Domestic abuse
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- A parent is not meeting the child’s needs
The focus is still on the best interest of the child. Evidence must show the change is for the child’s benefit, not the parent’s.
Do Kids Get a Say in Custody Matters in Florida?
Sometimes. If the judge determines the child has the “intelligence, understanding, and experience” to express their opinion, the court will consider the child’s preference.
Having your child testify in court is a big decision. Your child’s preference won’t be the sole factor by any means, so children can be confused if the decision doesn’t go their way. We can advise you on whether your child should testify. If it’s the route you choose to take, we will help prepare your child for the process so that they know exactly what to expect and will feel at ease.
Contact Our Orlando Child Custody Lawyers for Help With Child Custody in Florida
Do you need a parenting plan in connection with your divorce in Florida? Or do you have changed circumstances that warrant a change to a child custody order? Wherever you are in the child custody process, Conti Moore Law, PLLC can help you fight for a custody arrangement that is best for your child and your family.
With over five decades of combined legal experience to bring to your case, our Orlando child custody lawyers have what it takes to get the best possible outcome for you and your children. We know your child’s future is at stake, and we are compassionate yet zealous advocates from beginning to end of your custody case. Call today for your free initial consultation.