Winter Park Child Custody Lawyer
Child custody is always one of the most contentious aspects of any divorce. The law on child custody is also quite unique in Florida. To ensure you obtain the most favorable result possible, it is important to work with a Winter Park child custody lawyer who can advise you of your rights.
The Law on Child Custody in Florida
Although Florida law historically used the term “child custody,” that is no longer the case today. Now, the Florida statutes use the terms parenting responsibility and time-sharing. The court will always only consider what is in the child’s best interests when deciding on these matters. In the vast majority of cases, judges will always try to divide parenting responsibility and time-sharing rights between the two parties, excluding neither. In some cases, such as when there is a history of domestic violence, this is not possible.
Parental responsibilities refer to the aspects of a child’s life that require decisions to be made. These can include the education the child receives, extracurricular activities they partake in, and who their healthcare provider is. Time-sharing is just that. It refers to the amount of time each parent will spend with the child.
Not all child custody matters have to go before a judge. Parents are always encouraged to try and reach an agreement on their own. When this is possible, the agreement must still go before a judge who needs to approve it. The judge will ensure the agreement is in the child’s best interests and make it legally binding. The two parties can then follow the written agreement when there is a dispute.
In the majority of cases, parents are awarded shared parental responsibility. Both parents must discuss decisions with each other and if they cannot agree, they will have to go back to court. Judges may also award shared parental responsibility while giving one party ultimate decision-making authority. In these cases, the parties are still expected to discuss all decisions, but one party will have the final say. In the rarest of cases, a judge can also award sole parental responsibility in which one party will not have any say.
Factors Considered when Determining Time-Sharing
Again, whether a time-sharing dispute is heard by a judge, or whether parents reach an agreement on their own, only the best interests of the child are considered. The factors a judge will consider when making a decision include:
- The location of the child’s education and school
- Proposed and current living arrangements
- The financial situation of each parent
- The fairness of the parenting plan
- Physical health of each parent
- Mental health of each parent
- The level of parental involvement in the child’s life by both parties
- The flexibility of each parent to shift parental duties
- Any evidence of domestic abuse
Call Our Child Custody Lawyer in Winter Park Today
When going through a parenting responsibility or time-sharing dispute, there is a lot on the line. At Anderson & Ferrin, our Winter Park child custody lawyer will protect your rights and help you obtain the best outcome possible. Call us now at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.