How does Child Custody work in Florida

How does child custody work in floridaMany have recently been asking us this question; “How does Child Custody work in Florida. First things first, there is no such thing as child “custody” in the state of Florida any longer. There is now what is known as time-sharing with the child or children. Instead of “custody” the courts will assign “parental responsibility” for the children, either shared or sole, and will provide for a timesharing arrangement. The court will order a time-sharing schedule that is in the best interest of the child.

In determining the best interest of the child the judge will examine many factors but here are some of the most important:

How does Child Custody work in Florida?

*The age of the child

*The health – both mental and physical – of each parent and the children.

*The ability of each parent to provide a stable, loving environment

*Each parent’s ability to provide for the children’s physical needs, emotional wellness, and medical care.

*Confirmed evidence of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect by either parent.

Generally both parents can get sole/shared “parental responsibility. The state of Florida does not show preference for a mother over a father, as used to be the case. Now, unless the court determines that it would be harmful to the child, the court will order shared parental responsibility and will order both parents to spend as much time as possible with the child or children as the case may be.

In the cases where a parent has committed certain domestic violence crimes such first degree misdemeanors or felonies, which are grounds for termination of their “parental responsibility” being that the judge will most likely agree that it is no longer in the best interest of the child to be in that parent’s care. However, that parent has the right to present evidence to try to change the judge’s mind and prove that it would not be harmful to the child to have parental responsibility or time-sharing.

If both parents are deemed unfit to perform their parental responsibility or time-sharing, then an extended member of the family can step in and request Temporary custody or Concurrent custody.

It is always best to seek professional council immediately, which is where Elizabeth Gonzalez Law Firm steps in. Elizabeth Gonzalez is a practicing Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator. She works with all parties to bring a peaceful resolution for you and your children’s future.

*Please note that all cases will be evaluated and assessed individually based on the specific circumstances regarding your situation which will be discussed when you make your personal appointment with us. 

Call us at 904-545-8521