What Are the Different Kinds of Custody Under Florida Law?
Like many other states, Florida law has increasingly recognized the importance of the role of both parents in a child’s life as much as possible. While one parent having custody of a child and the other parent having visitation used to be the norm in American divorces, state laws now are emphasizing concepts such as shared parenting and time-sharing. Florida also has updated its laws to focus on creating a parenting plan that allows ample time-sharing between the child and each parent.
“Custody” No Longer Exists in Florida Law
The Florida laws that relate to children whose parents are divorced or separated make no mention of the terms “custody” or “visitation.” The law also does not designate one parent as “custodial” or “primary residential.” Rather, the law simply refers to each parent’s time with the child as “time-sharing.” The laws do recognize, however, that one parent may have majority time-sharing, or that the parents may have equal time-sharing. In a majority time-sharing situation, one parent would spend more time with the child than the other parent. Likewise, in an equal time-sharing situation, the child would spend roughly equivalent amounts of time with each parent.
Determining the Appropriate Parenting Plan
All parenting plans focus on meeting the best interest of the child. Many factors contribute to the definition of what parenting plan would be in the child’s best interest, including the relationship between each parent and the child, the likelihood of each parent to uphold the parenting plan, the geographical proximity of the parties, the anticipated division of parental responsibilities, the mental and physical health of each parent, and evidence of domestic violence and child abuse by either parent. These are only a few of the many factors that courts are directed to consider in determining the best interest of the child.
What is Contained in a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan allocates all parental responsibilities and sets forth the time-sharing schedule that the parents are to observe with respect to the child. This plan will include the regular schedule for time-sharing, as well as time-sharing during holidays and other important events, provisions for extracurricular activities, provisions for child care and education, and necessary contact between parents and/or the parent and child. Depending on the circumstances, the parties might be ordered to comply with a temporary parenting plan while the divorce or legal proceedings are pending, and then be subject to a final parenting plan once the litigation has ended. A temporary parenting plan is just that – temporary – so the provisions in a temporary plan won’t necessarily carry over to the final parenting plan.
Call Fort Lauderdale Child Custody Attorney Vanessa L. Prieto for Assistance
Creating a time-sharing schedule and parenting plan can be a very complex endeavor, especially when two parents simply do not see eye to eye on most issues. We have the experience and skills to help you develop the plan that is truly in your child’s best interests. Contact the office of Vanessa L. Prieto today in Fort Lauderdale by calling 954-800-2362 or filling out the online form located on our website.