Divorce can be a distressing time for children and parents alike. When parents divorce, their children can feel as if they are adrift in a sea of uncertainty and legal turmoil.
Florida law provides for the “best interests” of children, through court orders, in determining their living arrangements and the amount of time they spend with each parent after a divorce is finalized.
The term “child custody” is no longer used by the state judicial system in divorce cases involving minor children. As of 2008, changes in Florida divorce and marital laws invoked terms such as “time sharing” and “parenting plans” when discussing the children, their visitation and other issues related to their upbringing and general welfare after their parents divorce.
Divorcing parents are encouraged to create a “parenting plan” that addresses time sharing of their child(ren), but if they cannot agree, the court can provide a parenting plan in the child(ren)’s “best interests.”
A parenting plan must “describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child” as well as “the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent” (Florida Statutes 61.13(2)(b)).
If child custody/time sharing is a relevant issue in your divorce case, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who handles child custody/time sharing cases. The lawyers at Yaffa & Associates have explained the complex legal issues related to child custody/time sharing to numerous clients over many years. We know the importance of this situation to you and your children.
Yaffa & Associates represents both mothers and fathers in child custody/time sharing cases. As your legal advocate, it is our job to make sure that you and your children are treated fairly. Our lawyers are experienced in the intricacies of family law in Boca Raton and all over Palm Beach County, Florida, including the surrounding areas of West Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Jupiter, and Wellington. No matter how complex your situation, we can help you emerge with a favorable outcome.
If you need help with child custody/time sharing issues, please contact Yaffa & Associates by calling (561) 276-3880 today. We are ready to assist you in whatever way we can to help you determine what steps need to be taken immediately to protect you and your children.
Florida Statutes Chapter 61 enumerates the laws pertaining to divorce, child custody/time sharing and child support. Florida has also adopted the national Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) in an effort to “avoid jurisdictional competition and conflict with courts of other states in matters of child custody” (F.S. 61.502(1)).
In Florida, both parents are required to equally support any minor children after a divorce, but inequities in income and expenses, as well as custody arrangements, often impose more than half the financial burden on one of the parents. Courts are permitted by law to explore the finances of both parents to determine “equitable distribution” of assets and liabilities (F.S. 61.075) while acting in the “best interests” of the child.
In determining the best interests of a child, the court should evaluate “all of the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the particular minor child and the circumstances of that family, including, but not limited to:
Parenting plans can take many forms. Not every family is the same, so the experienced family lawyers at Yaffa & Associates treat each case on an individual basis. Our attorneys take the time to learn about a family’s overall dynamic and discover the best interests of the child(ren). We make every attempt to understand and appreciate every person involved so we can create a parenting plan that is satisfactory to everyone.
Child custody/time sharing is almost always intertwined with child support in a divorce case involving children. Alimony is also often an additional element. We can help you formulate an action plan to protect yourself financially during this difficult time in your life and in your children’s lives.
We put the children first and do everything we can to ensure they remain in a safe, structured, and loving environment at all times. We do what is best for children and help both parents understand how important it is that the safety and well-being of children are the primary considerations.
Once a divorce is final and child custody/time sharing has been determined by the court under a parenting plan, circumstances might change enough that one of the parents seeks a modification of a child custody/time sharing order. When that happens, either of the former spouses may return to court to seek a modification of child custody/time sharing.
However, the court will only consider a request for modification of child custody/time sharing if the party seeking relief demonstrates that a “substantial, material, and unanticipated” change in circumstances has occurred (F.S. 61.13(3)).
If you have sound legal grounds for seeking a modification of child custody/time sharing, an experienced attorney can help you build a strong case.
Child Custody/Time Sharing Statutes at the Official Site of the Florida Legislature — Log on to the Florida Legislature’s web site for the statute enumerating the state’s primary child custody/time sharing laws. You can also search for other laws related to child custody/time sharing and a variety of family law topics under Title VI, Chapter 61, Parts I and II of the Florida Statutes.
Florida Courts Website, Family Law Self-Help Information — At the Florida Courts web site, you will find printable forms and other information about divorce, child custody/time sharing, and child support and resources and publications covering a wide variety of family court-related topics.
If you are or will be seeking child custody/time sharing, if your ex-spouse is not complying with a child custody/time sharing order, or if you want to modify a child custody/time sharing order, then you should contact one of the experienced family law attorneys at Yaffa & Associates to schedule a consultation.
It is our goal to protect children’s rights as well as create a parenting plan that meets the needs of all involved. We are here to make sure the transition goes smoothly and the children do not endure any more stress and frustration than absolutely necessary. Our attorneys take pride in being able to mediate these types of situations and formulate a satisfactory parenting plan that works well for all parties.
Find out what you need to do right now to protect yourself and resolve your case on the most favorable terms. Yaffa & Associates represents clients throughout Palm Beach County, including Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, and Jupiter, Florida, as well as surrounding areas.
During the consultation, one of our attorneys can explain the issues related to child custody/time sharing to help you determine your options. Our managing partner, Doreen M. Yaffa, has been a board certified specialist in marital and family law since 2001. Board certification is the highest level of recognition awarded by the Florida Bar and only about 6 percent of all Florida attorneys are board certified.
Learn more about the factors the judge will consider in your case in determining child custody/time sharing. Call Yaffa & Associates at (561) 276-3880 today to discuss the facts of your case.
This article was last updated on Monday, November 7, 2016.