October 15, 2021
Did you know that Florida has the fourth-highest number of divorces in America?
With over 13 percent of the population divorced, there’s a lot of potential for childfren to get entangled in the mess. If you’re thinking about divorce or have just separated, you may wonder how your kids will fare in the situation. Many state laws can affect the aftermath of a divorce.
Are you unfamiliar with Florida child custody laws? Keep reading to learn the answers to 7 common questions.
1. How Does a Judge Determine Custody?
When it comes to child custody laws, parents may worry most about who gets custody of the child. Floridian judges try to consider the child’s best interest first and foremost.
Many factors come into play. For starters, a judge will assess the depth of the relationship between the child and the parents. They’ll expect to see a parent who is involved in the child’s life and general welfare.
Aside from a willingness to put the child’s needs first, a parent also has to demonstrate the means. To be frank, all the love in the world won’t put food on the table for a child. With this in mind, the parent must make enough money to provide the child with at least the basic necessities of life.
2. Can the Child Choose?
Any reliable family law attorney will tell you that a child’s choice could factor into a judge’s considerations, too. However, for the court to do this, the child must be old enough and of sound mind. That way, there’s no doubt that the child’s decision is well-informed and sincere. However, if at all possible don’t make the child choose because it can traumatize them.
3. Can Custody Go to Other Family Members?
Under a new law, a parent serving in the military may grant their share of custody time to another family member, whether a brother, a grandmother, or someone else. The Armed Forces must have assigned the parent military service that lasts longer than 90 days. If they are stationed for six months in Germany, for instance, then they can assign their allotted time to another responsible family member.
4. What Is Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody?
Put in the simplest terms, joint custody is when a child shares time between both parents. Parents could split their child’s time equally or one parent could get more time than the other.
Sole custody is when the child spends the majority of time with one parent.
Child custody laws in Florida make it difficult to attain sole custody without a solid reason because the law assumes that a child’s mental health improves with both parents in their lives as much as possible.
However, sole custody doesn’t automatically mean that the other parent will vanish from a child’s life. In either custody case, the parents must agree on a timetable, otherwise known as a parenting plan.
5. What Does a Parenting Plan Involve?
A parenting plan involves more than just the amount of time each parent will spend with the child. It should also outline the tasks that each parent will complete, including scholastic and medical matters.
Since communication is a key factor in the successful raising of a child, the plan must also explain how each parent will communicate with the other.
Don’t forget to include the school’s address in your plan and any other relevant addresses. For instance, the court would need to know where your child will practice karate.
Not only do you need to submit your plan to the court, but the other parent must agree to it.
6. Does the Custody Order Ever Change?
While Florida law takes custody orders seriously, some occasions may require amendments. A dramatic decrease in one parent’s funds, for example, could affect the way parents share responsibilities.
Over the years, it’s best to reconvene with the other parent and the family attorneys. That way, you can assess the situation together and decide if you must make any changes. To make even a single change, you must submit an official request and give a reason that involves the child’s best interests.
7. Who Pays Child Support?
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for child support. Whether or not a parent pays child support depends on the amount of time the parent spends with the child and how much money each parent earns.
The amount of child support can vary quite a bit from case to case. Some important factors include the salaries each parent makes, the costs associated with the child, and more.
Remember that, even if a parent is behind on child support, you must never stop the parent from seeing their child during their agreed-upon time. That punishes the child and could violate your legally binding custody agreement.
Are You Ready to Navigate Florida Child Custody Laws?
Now that you’ve learned all about Florida child custody laws, you can know what responsibilities and limits you have as a divorced parent. By staying informed, you can make the best decisions going forward.
Even an amicable divorce can traumatize a child, which is why you need a knowledgeable divorce lawyer who will make the process as smooth and efficient as possible.
The Khonsari Law Group is ready to serve all your legal needs. From family law and personal injury to criminal defense and business litigation, our experienced team is here to represent you.
If you have any questions about a potential case or law in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can provide you with a free consultation so that you can decide on the best way to handle your case.