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Child Custody FAQs in Florida


Child custody in Florida can be extremely complicated, but you can prepare yourself by understanding how Florida law works and how it is likely to apply to your case. In any divorce or separation in which there are minor children from the relationship, it is important to work with an experienced Orlando child custody attorney who can assess the particular facts of your case and can help you to think ahead to developing a parenting plan that will meet Florida law requirements, or how the court is likely to decide your child custody case if you cannot agree to the terms of a parenting plan with the other parent.

In the meantime, however the following are some frequently asked questions about child custody, and our answers, which are designed to help you know what to expect as you move forward with your child custody case.

How Does a Court Decide Who Gets Custody? 

Courts in Florida have to make decisions about two different aspects of child custody: parental responsibility (legal custody of the child in which the parent makes important decisions about the child’s upbringing) and time-sharing (how much time the child physically spends with each parent). When the court makes any kind of decision about child custody, it always uses the “best interests of the child” standard. 

What is a Parenting Plan, and Do I Need to Make One? 

A Parenting Plan is required under Florida law whether or not the parents agree to issues concerning child custody and time-sharing. When the parents can reach an agreement about how to share custody and to develop a time-sharing schedule, the court can approve that Parenting Plan and it will have the same force as if the court developed it. In situations where the parents cannot come to an agreement, the court will use the “best interests of the child” standard to develop a Parenting Plan. Either way, a Parenting Plan will be put into effect. 

Do Courts Favor Giving Child Custody to the Mother? 

No. Florida law makes clear that “there is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.” While fathers, especially tend to worry that the court will favor the mother, Florida law specifically guards against such presumptions.

What Should I Do If I Am Concerned About the Child’s Safety with the Other Parent? 

You should know that the court will take into account issues of family violence or a parent’s own history of abuse in determining whether parents will share in custody and time-sharing. If you have concerns, you should discuss them with your attorney, who can raise relevant issues with the judge in your case. 

Contact an Orlando Child Custody Attorney 

Do you have questions about a child custody case in Florida? The frequently asked questions we discussed above represent just a few of the inquiries we commonly receive about child custody and time-sharing in Orlando. We know that you probably have many more questions, and we are here to help. One of the experienced Orlando child custody & timesharing lawyers as our firm can speak with you today about your case. Contact Anderson & Ferrin for more information.


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