At our firm, Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law, we know that working out what is best for your child can be difficult. Even with the best of intentions on your part, you might not know what the Florida laws concerning child custody are and what they allow.
Furthermore, when parents disagree on custody issues, they can end up being tied up in lengthy legal battles and drawn-out divorces. Whether you are currently going through this type of battle or you are simply trying to avoid reaching that point, it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through each step of the process.
The skilled and insightful Fort Myers divorce attorneys from our firm can provide you with the experience and dedicated service you need for your case. We want you to know what your rights are and how to go about securing them. If you are seeking legal counsel for any type of custody matter in Fort Myers, Cape Coral or Bonita Springs, we can help.
Physical vs. Legal Custody
Divorce proceedings that involve children are often very stressful. When you are a parent, you must remember that the decisions you make during your divorce can dramatically affect your children, both now and in the future. One of these important decisions is child custody. "Physical custody" is the responsibility and right a parent has to provide daily care for his or her child.
When parent has physical custody, the child will usually live with that parent on either a partial or full-time basis. "Legal Custody" is the parent's right to take part in vital decisions for the child's life.
A few examples of these types of decisions include:
- What religion the child is raised in
- Medical attention the child receives
- What education the child will have
Understanding How Child Custody Works in Florida
The child custody laws in Florida change frequently. The primary consideration in those laws, however, has remained constant—to determine custody in the overall best interests of the child. In our state, the courts have final jurisdiction in custody matters. It is also the state's policy that your child has contact with both parents on a frequent and continuing basis whenever possible.
There are different types of custody:
- Joint Custody: a mutual sharing of the rights and responsibilities of raising children between parents
- Sole Custody: a single parent will have the rights and responsibilities of raising children
For example, one parent might have sole physical custody of the child (the child lives with him or her full-time) while both parents have shared legal custody (both parents make important decisions regarding the child's life). Or, one parent can be granted both sole physical and legal custody of a child.
There are many factors that can keep a parent from obtaining custody of a child. According to Florida law, one of those factors include evidence of previous domestic violence or child abuse committed by the parent. (Such evidence can be considered by the court even if no conviction actually occurred.) It is also important for you to know that the courts in Florida do not look kindly upon parents who try to use their children in any way to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings. There are many "do's" and "don'ts" in a child custody case that we strive to help our clients with.
Get Answers with a Fort Myers Child Custody Attorney!
Parents have many questions regarding the custody of their children in divorce proceedings. Does a father get the same consideration as a mother in determining the primary residence of a child? In addition to domestic violence issues, what are the other circumstances that could cause a court to issue sole custody of a child?
Does a felony record of either spouse affect custody or child support in the state of Florida? We can help you answer these questions and understand what to expect in your child custody case. Let us use our years of experience for your benefit and the benefit of your family.
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"Mr. Calvo was a huge help with a situation I got into while I was on vacation a couple years ago. He fought tooth and nail for me and made sure everything was ok, all while we were thousands of miles apart. I can't thank him enough!"Kerri