There are different types of child custody that may apply in a divorce or in any situation where a parent or other family member is attempting to get custody of a child. Depending on the unique situation and whether an agreement can be reached out of court, a child custody dispute may go to trial to be decided on by a judge.
Involving a Fort Myers child custody lawyer is an important step to take if you would like to make sure that your case is properly presented and the appropriate action is taken to seek the type of custody you are hoping to secure.
Our attorney is prepared to help you with your child custody issue. Contact us today!
Following are the types of custody that may apply in Florida:
- Physical custody - this describes where a child will live. A parent may have primary physical custody, secondary physical custody, sole custody or shared custody.
- Legal custody - this describes who will have the legal authority to make certain decisions about a child's life. This may include the raising and upbringing of a child such as education, religious practices, medical treatment and more.
- Joint custody - joint custody or shared custody refers to a situation where each parent spends a significant or equal amount of time with a child. Physical custody and/or legal custody may be shared.
- Sole custody - this describes a situation where only one parent has physical and/or legal custody of a child. The other parent may have visitation rights or may not have any right to see the child, depending on the situation.
In an effort to reform the way custody is handled in Florida, outdated terms have since been done away with and are replaced by more human ones. Custody is now referred to as 'parental responsibility' and 'time-sharing.' Parents are required to follow a time-sharing schedule that determines when they see and spend time with their children.
In other states, parents are awarded sole or joint physical custody and sole or joint legal custody. These terms refer to where the child spends their time and who makes major life decisions for the child. Florida, however, does things a bit differently.
A parenting plan is a document set up by the parents which lays out the roles of each parent as they relate to decision-making abilities. If the parents cannot create their own schedule, the court will do it for them. To best serve the child, a court will first consider the health of both parents, their relationships with the child, and any financial obligations.
How is parental responsibility decided on?
Parental responsibility, the ability to make decisions for the child, is typically shared, as long as it is in the best interests of the child. If there is any history of abuse, the court will instead assign sole parental responsibility. Decisions about education, healthcare, and religion are all affected by parental responsibility.
When parental responsibility is shared, both parents are expected to work together to make joint decisions for the child. Parents who can maintain an amicable relationship even after the divorce will do much to benefit their child.
What is a time-sharing schedule?
This schedule dictates how much time each parent gets to spend with the child throughout the year. The court encourages parents to create one together, but an inability to do so will require that the court steps in.
A time-sharing schedule should include all of the following:
- Weekdays and weekends
- All major holidays
- School vacations, such as summer and winter break
- Transportation arrangements
Again, any incriminating factors against one parent will be taken into account before a time-sharing schedule is finalized. Domestic violence or other forms of abuse can impact how much time one parent gets to spend with their child.
If you are in need of personal counsel from a compassionate and dedicated Fort Myers family law attorney, contact our firm. We would be happy to represent you during what can be a challenging time!
Fort Myers Custody Attorney
Most of the time, the courts will try to keep both parents involved in a child's life. The final decision, however, will come down to what is in a child's best interests. With our experience of the Florida court system and our dedication to protecting our clients and their children, the skilled family law team at Calvo & Calvo, Attorneys at Law can provide you with the help you need with your Fort Myers child custody matter.
Dealing with a child custody issue? Contact our Fort Myers family lawyer today.
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