Maintaining Your Parental Rights
Trying to work out child custody issues can be difficult for parents, but is often more difficult for children. At McGinnis Law Firm, P.A., we do not want to see that happen for you and your child. Instead, we want to help you understand Florida child custody laws and work towards what is best for both of you.
At McGinnis Law Firm, we assist mothers and fathers with parenting plans and time sharing arrangements. Our attorney and family mediator, Wendy K. McGinnis, will look into the specifics of your child custody case to advise you of the best approach.
Parenting Responsibility And Time Sharing
There are two main categories of child custody in Florida: sole parental responsibility and shared parental responsibility. Parental responsibility pertains to decision-making with respect to the welfare of the child – if shared then both parents jointly make the major decisions for the child, and if sole then only one parent makes the major decisions for the child. Whichever type of custody arrangement you have, you will need a parenting plan, a plan that specifies how much time your child will spend with each parent.
Florida courts encourage a shared parenting approach. This means that the parents should share in the rights and responsibilities of raising the child. But the standard for determining child custody is the best interests of the child.
The best interests of the child will be examined and the court will approve a parenting plan that will explain in detail how the parents will raise the child. Things like education and health care are usually addressed in the plan as well as extracurricular activities and travel. Also, a time sharing plan will be approved and will detail exactly how much parenting time each parent will get.
Best Interests Of The Child
Under Florida law, many factors are considered when determining the best interests of the child. A few of them are listed below:
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- The home, school, and community record of the child
- The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of the right intelligence, understanding, and experience
- The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent
- Evidence of domestic violence or child abuse
- Any other factor considered by the court to be relevant to the determination of the specific parenting plan