Florida law mandates that no preference will be made to either one of the parents during child custody cases, as both have shared parental responsibility for the children, unless there is some concern of harm or unsuitable living circumstances when the courts rule otherwise. Legal battles involving child custody are best addressed with an experienced family law attorney as the outcomes can be devastating for parents and children alike.
When parents share custody of a child, whether they are unmarried, or pending a divorce action in the State of Florida, decisions must be made as to when and how the children will be afforded time with each of them. Escalated emotions that are tied to child custody disputes are intense and the final resolution will impact the future relationship between children and each parent. Custody actions could cause disruptions to the stability of the children through changes to their:
A visitation schedule is usually suggested by both parents, agreed upon and ordered by the court to address the parental visitation formalities. Children who are subjected to shared custody agreements will have to learn to navigate different living situations more frequently, where they will have variable outcomes, versus the constants that a previous two-parent household offered them.
Florida parent education and family stabilization.
The courts encourage an amicable timesharing schedule between parents, so children have frequent and continuous contact with both of them. A parent education and family stabilization course must be attended by both parties of the marriage before a divorce can be finalized. The purpose of the course is to educate each parent on positive behaviors and actions that will facilitate children’s unbiased outlook to each parent, while reducing the possibility of negative discussions in the absence of one parent over the other.
Florida Statutes 61.13 states that the timesharing schedule will be decided by the court in the best interests of the children, not either of the parents, when parents cannot come to an agreement on their own. An experienced attorney can assist parents to “work together” so they do not damage the livelihood of their children.
Custody actions consider the best interests of the child, taking into consideration a multitude of factors such as: 1) child preference when over 13 years of age, 2) addressing the needs of an infant or small child who is dependent on the mother as the primary care giver regarding weaning and toilet training; and parents’ preference if made part of an agreement.
If parents make a formal settlement agreement, child sharing is part of that document outlining dates and times, restrictions on travel, particulars addressing mental and physical health of parties; school and home environment; history of violence; and relationship between the child and each parent. Child custody impacts the amount of child support one party pays to another in accordance with Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheets.
Seek family law counsel.
Child custody matters are complicated, but spending time with children should not be adversely affected for either parent, or their children. An experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Yeazell and Sweet can prepare the necessary paperwork for a parenting plan, including time-sharing in Tampa Florida.
Yeazell & Sweet Law Offices
Tampa Florida Location:
3301 N. Rocky Point Drive E, Suite 200
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: (813) 956-2224