South Florida Custody Lawyers
Going through a divorce does not mean that you should lose out on your right to be a parent to your children. An experienced Florida child custody attorney can help you protect your family and your rights as a parent. At the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A., our Florida child custody legal team has more than six decades of combined experience fighting for the rights of Florida family law clients. Each of our attorneys has more than 28 years of legal experience, and we are ready to leverage our knowledge and skills in protecting the things that you value most. The Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. is ready to fight for you.
Child Custody, Time-Sharing, and Parenting Plans in Florida
In Florida, attorneys and Courts address child custody and visitation rights through parenting plans and timesharing schedules. The present law reflects a change in Florida law intended to reflect the importance of the parent-child relationship for both parents; a parent is not “visiting” their child, they are spending time with their kid. A time-sharing plan or shared parenting plan is a Court-approved agreement that states where the children will be residing at all times, as well as what time will be otherwise allotted between the parents.
Parenting plans can be as general or detailed as the parents wish (specifics can avoid unnecessary disputes). At a minimum, shared parenting plans should establish:
- Where the children will reside at any given time (e.g., alternating weeks, alternating weeks/weekends, or some other arrangement)
Time reserved for each parent for certain activities, such as weekly dinners and where the kids will spend the holidays
- Each parent’s responsibility for health care and other decisions
- Each parent’s right to make certain decisions such as which school the kids go to and what type of religious education they will receive
- Which parent is responsible for daycare and other after-school activities
- Methods and technology used to communicate with the children (such as if one parent lives far away)
Parenting plans can include more detail about weekly activities as well as other parental rights and responsibilities. The plan can break down into a roughly 50/50 split, or the plan might grant more time with one parent while allowing for visitation with the other. The agreement should also spell out each parent’s responsibilities and legal rights, such as whether one or both have the right to make medical and other significant parenting decisions.
Understanding the “Best Interests of the Child” in Florida
Unless the parties can agree on a parenting plan, the ultimate decision regarding parental responsibility and timesharing will be left up to the Court. The Court will consider a list of statutory factors to determine the best parenting and time sharing arrangement. Ultimately, the Court will be seeking an arrangement that the Court believes serves the “best interests of the child(ren).”
In Florida, the Court will consider several specific factors in evaluating the best interests of the child, including, but not limited to:
- The age and maturity of the children
- Each parent’s proven capacity to maintain a close parent-child relationship and adhere to a parenting time arrangement
- Any history of criminal activity or substance abuse
- The parents’ respective living environments, geographic location, and financial circumstances
- Any special needs of the children, including developmental disabilities
- Each parent’s capacity to put their children’s interests above their own
- Any history of domestic violence, neglect, or abuse
- Each parent’s respective physical and mental health
- The stability of the home environment
- The children’s wishes, if they are of appropriate age and maturity
To ensure that you present the strongest case for your preferred time-sharing arrangement, you need a seasoned Florida child custody attorney on your side. An experienced advocate will help you protect your parental rights and your time with your children.
Modification and Parental Relocation
Although the divorce is meant to fully resolve all issues, in practice, things can change over time. You might get a new job in a different state, you or your spouse might experience financial hardship, or you might have some other reason to need to modify the time-sharing agreement. If you wish to modify your time-sharing agreement, including by relocating to a far-off city or new state, you will need to either obtain the consent of your co-parent or petition the Court for modification. Our attorney’s can help you protect your time and relationship with your children while continuing on with your life after your divorce.
Enforcement of Child Custody
Once the Court issues an order incorporating a timesharing arrangement, that Order is enforceable. If your ex is keeping you from visiting your kids during your allotted time or continually keeps your kids for extra days and infringes upon your parenting time, you have the right to request the Court hold your ex in contempt and order make up timesharing. Talk to our attorney’s to explore your options.
Protect Your Parental Rights With Help from a Zealous Florida Child Custody Lawyer
The experienced family law attorneys at the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. have more than 60 years of combined experience helping Florida family law clients get the results they deserve. For help fighting for your parental rights or with other family law matters in Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, or statewide, call the Law Office of Scott Glassman, P.A. at 561-688-5006 today!