If you decide to file for divorce in Neptune Beach, Florida, one issue that you must work out is child custody and timesharing. Because this can be challenging for some parents, using the services of an experienced attorney is recommended.
Mr. Griffin has expensive experience working on child custody cases. At Griffin Family Law, we know how frightening and stressful this time can be and we will fight for your rights and help you and your family achieve the best possible outcome.
Time-Sharing and Shared Parenting
In most states, you hear terms like “child custody” and “visitation.” However, in Florida, it is called “timesharing.” This change occurred in the state in 2008 when Florida eliminated the concepts of visitation and custody and replaced them with shared parenting.
Shared parenting plans in Florida are court-approved agreements that explicitly state the amount of time each parent spends with their child or children. They also state where this time will be spent. Some parenting plans are very simple, while others are more complex.
While each parenting plan is unique, some factors are always covered, which include:
- Where the child or children will attend school
- Who is responsible for daycare or for after-school activities
- The amount of time the visiting parent has with the child or children
- Methods and technologies that can be used to communicate with the child or children
- Rights and responsibilities of each parent in child-rearing
In Florida, time sharing may be 50/50 between the father and mother. However, it can also be broken down in other ways.
If the parents cannot agree on a parenting plan themselves, then the court will determine how time is shared and dictate the responsibilities of each parent based on the child’s best interests.
A method commonly used to determine how the court should set up a parenting plan is by assigning a neutral third party to review the situation and then report to the judge with recommendations about parenting time.
Why You Need a Child Custody and Timesharing Lawyer
One matter you must resolve if you choose to divorce or dissolve a marriage in Neptune Beach, Florida, is child custody and visitation rights. It is advised to seek the services of an experienced attorney because this can be difficult for some parents.
There are a few benefits that a Neptune Beach child custody lawyer can provide:
- A fixed schedule will be very beneficial when the estranged parents cannot agree on how much time (if any) the other parent should spend with the child. This process of agreeing on a fixed schedule can be streamlined with the aid of an attorney. Keep in mind that you must ask the court for a court order that specifies exactly when each parent is permitted to have custody of the child. By doing this, the agreement is enforceable against both parents.
- You can deal with the unforeseen problems that result from a divorce, lessen the emotional burden you may be feeling, and get sympathetic guidance to help you work toward more amicable solutions by seeking the assistance of a qualified custody lawyer.
- Child custody attorneys give parents the chance to work out their differences and choose a parenting strategy that puts their kids first, negotiates child support, and outlines visitation rights.
- Parents or divorced couples should always consider hiring a child custody attorney since a neutral expert may advise and direct them as to the decisions that are usually best for the children. A skilled lawyer’s services will almost always be less expensive than taking the same issues to court to resolve conflicts.
- A Neptune Beach child custody lawyer can provide counsel services and take child custody cases to court if an agreement cannot be reached by either party. A lawyer is very important in this instance, as taking on the case alone can be very complex and difficult without any solid Florida child custody law knowledge.
Understanding Key Terms in Child Custody and Timesharing Law
What is Timesharing?
The quantity of time parents spend with their kids is referred to as timesharing. It is usually based on a specific timetable and is also referred to as possession or visitation.
What is Legal Custody?
Legal custody includes each parent’s rights to their children and the authority to make choices on their behalf. This includes making crucial medical decisions or choosing the school their children should attend.
What is Physical Custody?
Physical custody in Florida denotes that one parent will be the child’s primary caregiver. The best possibilities, though, are frequently viewed as shared physical or legal custody. Joint physical custody guarantees that both parents will spend about equal amounts of time with the kids. This will only be successful if the parents can properly communicate with one another and co-parent effectively.
What’s Considered in Florida’s Shared Parenting Plans?
The Florida court must consider the child’s best interest when establishing a time-sharing plan. There are a few factors that are used to determine time-sharing plans. Some of these factors include:
- The child’s wishes (in some situations)
- Each parent’s willingness to honor the time-sharing plan and provide reasonable support for the child’s relationship with the other parent
- The legal history of the mother or father that involves sexual violence, child abuse, or domestic violence
- The stability of the home environment the child will be in
- The father or mother’s ability to support a child’s emotional, physical, and mental health and school-related needs
We understand that as your child’s parent, you understand what they need. If you do not believe that 50/50 custody is suitable for your child, then we will work with you to develop a plan to help you get what you want out of the situation. While there are no guarantees, we will advocate for you and your child to ensure you get the best representation possible.
Shared Parenting and Child Support
In Florida, the courts favor when parents share the responsibility of raising children. The only time this is not the case is if this shared responsibility would be harmful to the child in some way. The amount of time each parent spends with their child or children can impact the financial support required. Shared parenting plans will document the amount of time each parent should be spending with the child or children.
Child support calculations in Florida are party based on the number of children the parents have together and each parent’s income. Usually, the parent with a higher income will pay child support. However, the amount would be reduced if the child is spending over 20% of their nights with the visiting parent.
It is also worth noting that Florida courts will consider other factors when determining child support, as well. You can count on Mr. Griffin to explain all of this to you to ensure you understand what goes into the calculations.
Contact our Child Custody and Timesharing Attorney for Help and Information
If you need help with your Florida timesharing case, reach out to Griffin Family Law right away. Mr. Griffin can speak with you about your case and create a personalized game plan based on your goals for the outcome of your situation.
You can count on us to fight aggressively to protect your rights and ensure your kids’ interests are protected. The first step is to get in touch and schedule an initial appointment.