When you’re splitting up with your partner, and there are minor children involved, you should understand that Florida child custody laws are designed to promote the best interests of the children and the courts favor allowing both parents maximum quality time with the kids when possible. The law prefers the terms time-sharing, and instead of arguing over who gets custody, a couple negotiates a parenting plan.
Ideally, a couple will agree to a parenting plan for a court’s approval, but when they cannot agree, a judge will impose a plan. Either way, when you’re in a child custody battle, it’s important to have a skilled and experienced child custody lawyer on your side. Call 407-644-2466 for a free consultation with the Orlando Child Custody Attorneys at the Rivas Law Firm.
How Child Custody is Determined in Florida
Child custody laws can be complicated in Florida, so it is always in a parent’s best interest to consult a family law attorney to protect your rights in the process. Child custody, or timesharing, can be shared or restricted to a sole parent, depending on what arrangement is in the child’s best interests.
Florida’s term for Legal Custody is Parental Responsibility, meaning a parent’s authority to make decisions about a child’s upbringing, including healthcare, schooling, extracurricular activities, and general well-being.
What’s commonly referred to as Physical Custody – the right to spend time with the children and provide them with day-to-day care and support – is called Time-sharing in Florida’s Family Court.
The Family Court would much rather have parents work out Parental Responsibility and Time-sharing, between themselves than have a judge impose a decision. So before any case gets to a judge, the parties are required to attend mediation. It’s a formal negotiation between the parents (and their lawyers) to potentially reach a settlement on which both parents can agree and which is subject to the court’s approval.
Many cases are resolved this way, but sometimes the parties cannot agree, and the case goes to trial, where the judge will decide what arrangement is in the best interests of the children.
A Child Custody Attorney Will Fight for Your Parental Rights
Ultimately, consulting with a family law attorney to figure out the details of a parenting plan is the most sensible way to proceed in the State of Florida. Your attorney will make sure that your rights as a parent are protected in negotiations or mediation. And if a case goes to trial, you will want the best litigator you can get.
When it comes to the division of parenting time and responsibility, the court will evaluate many factors. This includes the parents’ current lifestyles, geographic distance, past parenting, age of the children, school records, mental and physical health of the parties, work commitments, special needs of the children, and more. The court will consider each of these factors to create a parenting plan that meets the child’s best interest.
It’s hard to imagine that some judge will determine some of the most crucial aspects of your life, such as where your child will reside, attend school, and spend their time off. However, with an experienced and aggressive Family Law Attorney advocating for you, you can influence those decisions. You may be able to avoid the situation altogether if your attorney can negotiate and settle these matters before a judge has to decide them for you.
At the Rivas Law Firm, our experienced child custody lawyers are best exceedingly to handle your case. Our attorneys have an in-depth knowledge of Florida’s child custody laws and will make sure that you have the legal advice you need to make an informed decision in an emotionally challenging situation.
We take pride in providing the best legal representation and are committed to guiding you through this difficult process with compassion and understanding. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of dealing with a child custody situation, we are here to help. Call 407-644-2466 for a free consultation with the Orlando Child Custody Lawyers at the Rivas Law Firm.