At our law firm we understand that nothing can be more difficult for divorcing spouses than the right to see their child or children. We go to great lengths to ensure any client has maximized time and visitation with his or her child. We will zealously protect your right to see your children and will aggressively fight to protect all of your rights. No stone will be unturned. No piece of evidence will be overlooked. No investigation or litigation will stop until we have exhausted any and all remedies for the client given the facts of the case. Here you will be treated with the respect and compassion you deserve while at the same time knowing you have an aggressive legal advocate and staff working hard for you on a daily basis. Here you will get big firm credentials with an inviting and friendly small firm atmosphere. Let our experienced Jacksonville divorce lawyer start helping you today.
Starting in October 2008, the terms “custody” and “visitation” were both removed from Florida law. Under the new law, Florida Courts now call these aforementioned terms “time sharing” and the Court must establish a “parenting plan” to determine the respective time each parent shall spend with the child. While the Judiciary can ultimately make this determination at a formal hearing, many times the parting spouses can agree on a time sharing plan that works for both and that is in the best interest of the child or children. If the divorcing parents cannot agree on a plan, then the Court can determine the amount of time sharing for either parent after a full hearing. The tribunal will also take into consideration the best interests of the child under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
The term child custody includes both physical and legal custody. Parents with legal authority for the child are able to make important decisions on the child’s behalf. These decisions can include, education, religion, legal forms of discipline, and medical treatment and care. On the other hand, physical custody of the child literally means the location where the child will live. Florida Courts usually favor the child having one primary residence pursuant to a time sharing plan. However, in many circumstances there is a residential rotation where the child splits time physically living between the two parent’s homes. Depending on the facts and circumstances of any given case, custody may be either shared equally, awarded to one sole parent, or may fall somewhere in between.
The Courts in Florida have a strong preference for pure time sharing between the parents. This means shared custody arrangements are favored unless there is evidence to suggest that such a time sharing arrangement would not be in the best interests of the child or children. In making this decision the judicial system will take into consideration certain factors to assist in determinig what is in the best interest of the child. Each factor can be weighed more heavily against the other depending on the nature of the evidence in the case. If a time sharing plan cannot be agreed upon then it is our job to ensure all the evidence has been explored in detail. Call a Jacksonville custody attorney today for assistance with your legal matter.
When the Court has to decide the time sharing responsibilities of each parent it will take into consideration numerous important facts. The factors include, but are not limited to, who has historically been the primary caretaker of the child, who encourages the child to respect and love the other parent, who has the best schedule to maximize time with the child, which parent is generally considered the friendlier caretaker, and whether one or both parents has or have made any false allegations of abuse or domestic violence. This is not an exhaustive list under Florida law and the Court may take into considerations other matters in reaching its respective determination. Please remember an experienced Jacksonville custody lawyer can help you during this difficult time in your life.
Finally it should be noted that the judicial system does not favor one parent over the other when considering time sharing. The rules have changed and there is a presumption generally that each parent can have sole, shared, or no visitation depending on the circumstances of the case. Therefore, it is often encouraged that the parties come to some form of agreement in the form of a suitable time sharing plan. However, if such a plan does not conform to the wishes of my client we will diligently and zealously pursue litigation, if needed, to ensure our client has a fair day in Court on this very important issue.
Contact our firm today by calling 904-356-8618. You will be met with a friendly staff ready to assist you. You can also reach the firm by emailing me in the email dialogue box on this webpage. Let us start helping you today.
Our firm proudly represents custody and visitation clients in the surrounding counties of northeast Florida, including Clay, Duval, Nassau, Flagler, and Baker Counties.