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Child custody decisions have long lasting impacts on Fort Lauderdale Florida families.

Florida – February 18, 2022

Child custody issues can have a long lasting positive or negative outcome regarding parental bonding and child stability if it is not handled property at the outset.  Since the decision to split apart a family unit is a serious life-changing event, it is imperative to have an experienced Florida lawyer who knows how to achieve the best possible outcome for all members of the family as they move forward after a divorce, or a break-up that alters a living situation when parents are not married.

Florida shared parenting.

When parents decide to divorce in the State of Florida, they must decide when and how the children will have time to spend with each parent individually. The degree of emotion tied to child custody disputes is enormous and the final resolution will impact the future relationship with children for each parent, and cause disruptions to the stability of the children through changes to their:

  • living space(s),
  • daily routine,
  • emotional health,
  • education,
  • vacation schedules, and
  • extracurricular activities.

Parental Visitation – a schedule to be decided upon in advance when shared custody is agreed upon and ordered by the court.

Children of divorce will have to learn to navigate different situations more frequently, where they will have variable outcomes, versus the constants that a previous two-parent household offered them.

Florida law.

Under Florida law, there is no preference to either parent as they have shared parental responsibility for the children, unless there is some concern of harm to the children that makes the courts rule otherwise.  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 the divorce can be finalized and educates on parental behaviors and actions after the divorce to remind that children do not need to hear bad things about either parent as they go forward with shared parental duties.

Unless the parents can come to an agreed upon schedule for time sharing, 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. It is helpful to have an experienced professional assist with this, as emotions of the parents may not be in the best interests of “working together” during the divorce process.

Child Custody.

– custody that is in the best interests of the child taking into consideration a multitude of factors such as:

  • Child preference, if over 13 years of age or if an infant or small child that is more dependent on mother as primary caregiver.
  • Parents preference if in agreement.
  • Mental and physical health of divorcing parties.
  • Child’s community, school, and home environment.
  • Parental history of violence.
  • Relationship between child and each parent.

Child custody impacts child support, which is the amount of financial support based on each parties’ income; childcare and insurance costs for the dependents, and how many overnights each parent spends with the child and will be based on results of the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet attach it to the final divorce agreement.

Hire a family law attorney.

Child custody matters are complicated during divorce proceedings, but spending time with children should not be adversely affected for either parent, or the children.  The best way to make sure the proper paperwork has been submitted regarding residency, child support and scheduling of visitation for the non-custodial parent is by securing the services of a family law attorney who is experienced in Fort Lauderdale family court.  Please contact the Law Offices of Verna Popo for more information regarding your unique child custody decisions during and after a divorce action to make certain all of the proper documentation is filed and actions by both parents serve the best interests of the children.

The Law Office of Verna Popo, P.A.

Fort Lauderdale Office

1 East Broward Blvd. Ste. 700
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Phone: 754-273-7009
Fax: 877-412-0896

Sources:

  1. http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/0061ContentsIndex.html
  2. https://www.browardclerk.org/Divisions/Family#General
  3. https://www.browardclerk.org/Divisions/Family#FilingforDivorce
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