Although the terms “visitation” and “custody” still are frequently used in everyday conversation, based upon recent changes in Florida law, they no longer are favored when discussing child custody matters. Parenting issues in such cases are now negotiated or litigated primarily in terms of “parental responsibility” and “timesharing” issues. Under Florida law, absent evidence to the contrary, it is assumed that both parents will maintain responsibility in caring for their children. Courts use the term “parental responsibility” when referring to the decision-making of major issues affecting the health, education and welfare of children in Coral Springs.
In a divorce where children are involved – or a paternity case – Broward County courts are called upon to apportion time sharing between the children’s parents. It is important to note that there exists no presumption for or against any particular time-sharing schedule, and the touchstone for the court in every case is the best interests of the children. Such laws are set at the state level, meaning there are no exceptions or special circumstances unique to Florida. Your Coral Springs child custody lawyer will simplify this family law jargon, allowing you to choose the best course of action for your unique situation.
Though parenting issues are commonly understood in terms of “custody” and “visitation,” Florida law has been substantially revised in this area in recent years. Courts no longer designate one parent as “custodial parent” and the other as “noncustodial parent,” but instead implement a parenting plan that sets forth in fairly detailed terms the parties’ rights with respect to both decision-making and time sharing regarding their children.
The value of a child custody evaluator, particularly in high-conflict cases, can be an exceedingly effective asset in your case. Although the opinions in a child custody evaluator’s report are not binding on the court, it can be persuasive. Evaluators ensure the court has a full understanding of all the relevant facts in your case.
The evaluator will contact all the parties and third-party individuals such as teachers, friends, relatives, doctors and other parties the child has come into contact with and issue a report to the court based on his or her findings. While judges don’t have to base their ruling solely in the contents of the evaluator’s report, many judges trust evaluators, and use their findings as a foundation for a ruling. Costs are typically divided between the parties pro rata based upon their respective incomes as reflected in their financial affidavits.
Initial determinations of child custody and visitation are based upon current situations. There can be many life altering changes after a divorce is finalized, and these changes may be significant enough that the custody order merits a modification, as discussed here by our custody lawyers. Some common life changes necessitating modification include:
Courts will always consider the best interests of the child or children first when petitioned to change visitation, but the rights and desires of the parent will be considered. To receive permission to modify custody, the parent seeking the modification must demonstrate that he or she has a substantial change in circumstances.
After a custody or visitation order is finalized, future issues may arise concerning the relocation of children. Whether you are seeking to move out of state with your child or you want to prevent the relocation of your child, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities. A parent is not permitted to relocate without a court order or written consent of the other party.
A parent must file for relocation approval if he or she plans on moving a child more than 50 miles away. If you seek to move away with your children, or to prevent the other parent from changing your children’s residence, Coral Springs child custody attorney Stuart N. House, P.A. stands ready to help. Our Firm has the knowledge and experience handling all types of custody cases including post-judgment modifications, visitation, enforcement and contempt. Together, we will develop the strategic plan based on the law that will yield the best results for your situation. Our child custody lawyers proudly represent clients in Coral Springs and throughout Broward County.
Stuart House is, simply put, an incredible family law attorney. He’s very knowledgeable of the law and understands the procedural nuances inside out. He’s able to connect with his clients in order to zealously advocate on their behalf, while maintaining his professionalism. I have a great amount of respect for him and I would recommend him for any family law matter. Thank you Stuart!