Child Custody Attorney in Jacksonville
Florida Child Custody Law Explained
Divorce is already an emotionally-charged process, but when there are children involved, it can become much more complicated and much more contentious. Child custody becomes an issue in any divorce where the divorcing couple are parents to at least one child under age 18. Child custody, also known as “shared parental responsibility for children,” covers questions like who the children will live with and how the parents will make key decisions for the kids, like where they will go to school or which doctor they will see.
These arrangements can be a point of contention between parents and so it is important to have strong legal representation on your side to fight for you and your child’s best interests. If you have kids and are planning on or currently going through a divorce in Florida, the family law attorneys in Jacksonville at Farah & Farah can help you obtain a child custody arrangement that is best for your family. Call us today to tell us about your situation at (904) 263-4610.
How to Establish a Child Custody Agreement in Florida
A divorcing couple may work together to decide issues of child custody (Custody FAQs), but if they cannot decide, a court will set up a plan for them. As part of the child custody process, parents may create a jointly-agreed-upon “parenting time” plan that addresses key issues like which parent will be responsible for managing the children’s schedules, getting them to school and extracurricular activities, and other day-to-day tasks that are part of raising kids. The court is likely to adopt the parenting plan as part of the custody arrangement if it appears to work in the child’s best interests.
In Florida, courts focus on the “best interests of the child” when determining how the child’s parents will share custody. The “best interests of the child” standard is flexible to allow Florida family law courts to consider the unique circumstances in each family. For instance, the court may consider factors like the involvement of each parent in the children’s lives to date, the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s basic needs, any special educational, medical, or learning needs the child has and whether each parent is equipped to meet them, and many other factors.
Florida courts strive to keep both parents involved in a child’s life during and after divorce, unless an abusive or otherwise dangerous situation makes it necessary to reduce or eliminate the contact between a child and a parent. Consequently, even if both parents agree that the children will live with only one of the parents, most courts will continue to recognize the responsibilities of both parents to confer when making decisions on behalf of the child and may make arrangements for the child or children to have visitation or “parenting time” with the parent who doesn’t live with them.
How is Child Support Determined in Florida?
Child support is a separate but related issue from child custody. Custody deals with who raises and makes decisions for the kids; support deals with how the parents share the costs of meeting the child’s basic needs. Whether child support is part of your divorce plan and in what amounts depends on issues like what the children need in terms of food, shelter, medical care, and other items, and on how you and your spouse decide to share the daily responsibilities of raising the children and paying for their needs.
Establishing a Child Custody in the Best Interests of Your Child
When you’re facing divorce, it’s natural to want the best possible outcome not only for yourself but also for your children. At Farah & Farah, we know how important your child’s well-being is, and our Jacksonville child custody attorneys are dedicated to helping you work out a custody arrangement that accommodates both your needs and the needs of your children. For a confidential consultation, contact our office at (904) 263-4610 today.