Child custody in Florida, as well as throughout the United States, is designed to provide access to the child for both parents. However, in considering child custody, the court also looks closely at the best interests of the child.
A child custody lawyer will be essential for a parent with an interest in the modification of the original custody agreement or for payment of child support. These can be very complex issues, and the court will need to see evidence and expert testimony as to the need to change the existing custody and support arrangements. custody and support arrangements
Two Components of Child Custody
Many people still talk about sole custody of children in the state of Florida. As of 2011, the courts in Florida no longer order or grant sole custody, but they can allow for sole parental responsibility and conditions on the parenting time if the other parent is found to be unfit to have parental responsibility.
The court, as well as the state statutes, identifies two components of custody. These are parenting time, or the time a parent has what used to be called “visitation” with the child. Parental responsibility is the ability to make decisions about the child. This can include medical decisions, religious and educational choices and anything the child does while with the parent. In most divorces, parents will be expected to work together in a co-parenting role to make these decisions in the best interest of their child or children.
When to See A Child Custody Lawyer
Parents will need to consult with a child custody lawyer if the other parent is no longer able to have parenting time due to addictions, unsafe behavior, violence or abuse towards the children or other similar issues.
Additionally, if the other parent is no fulfilling his or her parental responsibilities and is not making decisions in the best interests of the child, the court can order those decisions to be made unilaterally by one of the parents.