Child Custody & Visitation
Many people who have children together choose to end their marriage or relationship. Along with dealing with any emotional or financial ramifications of their decision, they must also determine how they will share custody of their children. While the parents sometimes come to an agreement independently, in many cases, the courts will need to intervene to determine how custody should be divided. If you are no longer in a relationship with your child’s co-parent, you should speak to an attorney regarding your options for protecting your parental rights. Felicia A. Bunbury at The FAB Law Firm is an assertive Orlando child custody lawyer who can assist you in pursuing your desired outcome. Ms. Bunbury represents people in child custody cases throughout Florida.Agreements Regarding Custody
In Florida, what is typically known as child custody is divided into parental responsibility, which is the right to make important decisions regarding a child’s care and upbringing, and time-sharing, which is the right to spend time with the child. If the parents can come to an agreement regarding parental responsibility and time-sharing, they must reduce their parenting plan to writing and submit it to the court for approval. The plan must, at a minimum, state how responsibility for the daily tasks involved with raising the child will be divided, set forth the schedule for time-sharing, and establish who will be in charge of addressing school and health-related issues. The court will generally approve a parenting plan if it is in the best interest of the child involved. By consulting a child custody attorney in the Orlando area, you can improve your chances of drafting a plan that will be approved.Court-Ordered Custody Arrangements
If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding custody, the court will issue an order defining time-sharing and parental responsibility. Ultimately, a court’s main concern in a custody case is what is in the best interest of the child. Factors that the court may weigh in coming to a decision include the preference of the child, the health of each parent and the child, each parent’s capacity to care for the child, the child’s ties to a community or school, the moral character of the parents, and the needs and developmental stage of the child. The court may also assess which parent traditionally took care of the child prior to the custody action, which parent is more likely to fulfill the needs of the child rather than his or her own needs, and the need to provide a stable environment for the child. Our Orlando child custody attorney can explain how each of these factors may affect your case.
After evaluating any relevant factors, the court may issue an order setting forth details regarding parental responsibility and a time-sharing schedule. Usually, a court will grant parents shared parental responsibility and time-sharing rights, since there is a presumption that it is in the best interest of a child to have a close relationship with each parent. Even if a court grants parents equal time with a child, however, this does not preclude either parent from seeking child support. A court may decline to grant a parent shared parental responsibility or time-sharing if the parent has been convicted of a domestic violence crime, but the court may still order the parent to pay child support. Additionally, a court may grant sole parental responsibility to one parent if it deems it appropriate, and it may or may not grant the other parent time-sharing rights.Meet With a Dedicated Family Law Attorney
When parents decide to end their relationship, determining how they should divide custody of their child can be a difficult task, and it is wise for anyone contending with a custody dispute to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. Felicia A. Bunbury at The FAB Law Firm is a child custody lawyer based in Orlando who can work hard to help you seek the best result possible under the facts of your case. You can contact our firm at 800-322-9467 or through the form online to set up a free and confidential meeting.