Child Custody Lawyer in Orlando
Child Custody in Divorces
Divorces are tricky, especially when there are children involved. When a couple splits, it is essential that they agree on a plan outlining the custody and care for their minor children. In Florida, courts encourage former couples to reach a custody agreement on amicable terms and will try to facilitate resolutions through counseling and mediation. In cases where a custody plan cannot be reached, the courts will step in and make decisions in the best interest of the child.
Parenting Plans in Florida
Florida law requires the establishment of a parenting plan before a custody agreement is reached. This parenting plan outlines the upbringing of a child and the involvement of each parent in the child’s life. The plan should include custody and visitation schedules, healthcare and medical matters, school, and any other factors relevant to the minor children. Parenting plans are designed to set down expectations and facilitate conflict resolution to make sharing the responsibility of caring for a child much more manageable.
Types of Parenting Plans
Parenting Plans govern the custodial agreement between the two parents. In hopes to facilitate the process, the Florida Supreme Court approved three generic plans. These plans include a parenting plan for parents that live relatively close together and one that addressed the unique problems that affect parents who live far from each other. The last plan covers situations where the safety of the child is of concern in determining visitation.
Regardless of the type, all parenting plans must include custody and visitation rights, how each parent will communicate with the child and a detailed statement explaining how they will divide the responsibility of raising the child.
Florida Child Custody Determination
If the parents fail to make a plan or make one that the judge does not approve of, the court will take over and establish a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children. Under the law, the best interest of the child used to mean granting custody to the mother. Over time this has changed, and now the judge will determine cases on many factors while giving equal consideration to both parents.
In an ideal situation, regardless of who has physical custody, parental responsibility will be shared by equally by both parents. However, a judge has the authority to alter this time-sharing agreement if they believe that shared custody would be harmful to the child’s wellbeing. The best interest of the child is the overall focus of the court’s scrutiny, and in determining a plan that would meet this requirement, the court considers factors including the child’s needs, each parent’s ability to provide a healthy home environment, and any other relevant factor.
The Law Office of Mark Bakay Serves Clients in Orlando, FL
If you need help protecting your parental rights through an ongoing divorce trial, it is essential that you contact the law office of Mark Bakay. With years of experience, attorney Bakay has dedicated himself to providing clients with the legal representation they need to protect their parental rights. Get started on safeguarding your family’s future and call our office for a risk-free consultation.