Child Custody / Time-Sharing
Most would agree that your children and their future is the most important part of a divorce. And the most important part of that process is establishing the time that you will be involved in that future.
Without having an attorney experienced with child custody you could end up with far less than you expected.
Under Florida law, child custody is decided by the courts based on the best interests of the child under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, a national set of laws governing child custody throughout the country. Child custody includes both legal and physical custody. Parents with legal custody of their child are allowed to make decisions regarding education, religion, medical care, and discipline. Physical custody involves the actual location where the child will reside.
Child custody may be either shared or sole custody. The Florida courts have a strong preference for shared custody arrangements, now known as “time-sharing,” unless there is evidence to suggest that shared custody would not be in the best interests of the child.
In Florida, parents have the option to agree on a parenting plan outside of the courtroom, which establishes the “time-sharing” schedule for the parents and addresses how parental responsibilities, including legal decisions, will be handled between the two parties. The time-sharing schedule sets forth the time that each parent will spend with their children during the week and during the weekends, as well as where they will sleep each night. These schedules also address where children will spend their time during school breaks, long weekends, and on holidays.
If parents are able to agree on a parenting plan through negotiation, they can then submit a signed agreement to the court. At that point, the agreement is either mailed in or set for a final hearing for a judge to approve. The judge must enter an order ratifying the agreement after such time as they have determined that the best interest analysis of the child has been met on all issues.
Best Interests of the Child
When parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan for their children, the court must determine one for them. This determination is based on the best interests of the child and includes many different factors, such as:
- The ability of each parent to be a cooperative co-parent and facilitate the best interest of
their minor child with the other parent
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment
- The geographical viability of the individual parent’s homes
- The mental and physical health of both parents
- The demonstrated ability of each parent to provide a consistent routine
- The demonstrated ability of each parent to communicate with the other with regard to
issues concerning the minor child
- Any knowledge of domestic violence or abuse occurring within the household that the
children were witnesses to or a part of
- While not always relevant in some instances court may consider a history of substance abuse by either parent
Whether you and your spouse are working towards a parenting plan or facing the prospect of court-determined time-sharing, we are available to provide you with the knowledge and advice necessary so that your rights, and the best interests of your child, are protected. If you have questions about custody in Orlando, Florida or are facing the prospect of a custody battle, call the Law Offices of Erin Morse today.
The child custody process is often the most emotionally stressful aspect of a family law case. While you can regain lost assets, you can never get back time lost with your children. At the Law Office of Erin Morse, we are experienced in Orlando Child Custody matters, call us today and let our experience work for you, Call us today.
So grateful to Erin and her team. I had a complex custody case and it was IMPERATIVE that I chose the right attorney as it was my child’s best interest at stake, and all my chips would be going into it. After researching for weeks, reading reviews on different sites etc I met with Erin 3 DAYS before my court date. After our initial meeting and speaking with Erin, I was much more confident that I had a chance at getting a just outcome as the other party’s attorney was slandering me in initial petition, and felt that it would be an uphill battle. Erin is first and foremost Knowledgeable about the law she practices which I think was the real key to getting the outcome we needed. She was aggressive, confident, strategical, and upfront with me throughout the whole process. At the court proceedings she was an all-star and I couldn’t be happier with her services. Highly recommend to anyone with custody case. THANKS AGAIN MORSE TEAM!
Working with the Office of Erin Morse has been the most amazing experience Ive had so far. From the quick responses, friendly staff, amazing and knowledgeable attorneys. Carlos Otero (my attorney) was absolutely incredible helping out with everything related to my case and even more helpful with mediation! I was incredibly sattisfied with how hard they fought at mediation for me and even more pleased with the outcome! I would totally recommend this law firm to anyone! Karina H.
I spoke with attorney Morse about a family matter. I left my consultation feeling great afterwards. She is very knowledgeable and put me at ease. Clearly an experienced attorney. I highly recommend her to anyone looking for a family lawyer.
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