Time-Sharing In The State of Florida
If you are the parent of a dependent child and are filing for divorce in Florida, you may be uncertain about how custody laws will affect your case. Perhaps you know that a soon-to-be ex-spouse will seek parental responsibilities and you want to know how to get custody of your child.
In Florida, courts typically seek to have both parents share in the responsibility of raising children after a separation or divorce. Laws in the state are based on the premise that a child benefits from frequent contact with both parents, and courts favor time-sharing arrangements in which children spend equal time within each household. This arrangement, of course, can be challenged if you feel you should bear all or the majority of parental responsibilities.
Factors In The Determination Of Custody Of A Child
While it is the preference of the court that divorcing spouses equally share parenting responsibilities, this arrangement is not always ordered in post-marital agreements.
First and foremost, the courts must make custody decisions that are in the children’s best interests. In order to make this determination, a number of factors are reviewed. These factors include:
- The willingness of the parents to work together with a time-sharing arrangement
- The health of the parents
- The home environment
- Each parent’s demonstration of putting the children’s needs before their own
- Any history of abuse in the family
- Parental involvement in the children’s lives
- The children’s wishes (in select cases)
Florida is a no-fault divorce state, and under Florida child custody laws, the ruling regarding child support and custody will remain valid until the children are over the age of 18 or have graduated from high school. The ruling may, however, be revised if a petition is submitted to the court.
This includes relocation plans for either parent. Both parents must agree to the relocation plans, and the plans must be formally submitted to the court. If the other parent does not agree to the plans, the custodial parent may not be permitted to move and take the children with him or her.
Finding A Legal Representative
Some parents are able to work out a parenting plan on their own without having conditions determined by the court, and this generally works best for the whole family. If no agreement can be struck, Florida child custody laws leave it up to the decision of the courts to make this determination.
If you have been unable to reach an agreement with a soon-to-be ex-spouse regarding divorce and children, it’s important to contact an attorney so that you have someone watching out for your legal rights in court. A lawyer can help achieve a resolution best for you and the interests of your child.