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Frequent FAQs About Child Custody in Florida

Going through a divorce or separation is tough, especially with a child or children involved. Below are FAQs about child custody in Florida.

What factors are considered when determining child custody in Florida?

Custody is not determined, but rather “time-sharing” is. Florida law firmly believes that unless the parent is unfit, it is in the best interest of the child(ren) to spend time with both parents. Thus, rather than joint or sole custody, majority or equal time-sharing is decided.

The judge will want to ensure that the child(ren) is in a safe, productive, and stable environment. In extreme cases, time-sharing and visitation rights can and will be terminated if a parent demonstrates domestic, sexual, or substance abuse. Moral behavior may also be taken into consideration.

Will the courts favor one parent over another?

According to current Florida law, no parent is favored over the other. Time-sharing is solely based on the best interest of the child.

Will the child(ren) have a say in who they live with?

According to Florida law, if the child is old enough and mature enough, the child’s preference can be taken into consideration.

What’s a parenting plan and will one be required?

Florida law requires a written parenting plan. The parenting plan details how the parties will share roles and responsibilities. Responsibilities include everyday tasks, such as transportation to-and-from school and extracurricular activities, as well as the time-sharing schedule. The parenting plan should also include a plan that outlines how the two parties plan to communicate in regards to the child(ren).

How will custody arrangements affect child support?

The person who spends most of the time with the child(ren) will receive child support if a child support arrangement is in place. Both parties’ incomes, time-sharing, and expenses will be taking into consideration on the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet. If parties spend equal time with the children, a child support arrangement will still be established based on income and nights away.

To discuss your child custody concerns, or anything else, please contact us. Thanks.