Going through a divorce is an extremely stressful and difficult time for everyone involved. When children are a part of the process, special consideration must be given to the impact that the divorce process will have on them, both now and in the future. There have been many studies published about the effects that divorces have on children and the aspects of a divorce that cause those effects. These studies seem to have the common theme that the more contentious the divorce, the more prone the children are to suffer negative effects in their own lives. At the Dewitt Law Firm, we are sensitive to these issues and work hard to ensure that decisions are made that consider the interests of our clients and their children. Our Orlando attorneys work hard to settle child custody and/or parenting plan disputes, and to shield the child or children from future litigation and the negative effects of the divorce process. In cases where settlement is not possible, we employ various resources and strategies to help shield the child or children from the litigation, and to ensure that the Judge receives an accurate and full understanding of the family dynamic, the child or children’s needs, and their best interests.
A large portion of our practice is devoted to cases involving minor children, so we are very familiar with the applicable law and resources. If you are considering a divorce and have a minor child or children, it is important to be educated regarding all aspects of the divorce process, including issues related to timesharing (also commonly known as child custody or visitation), shared and sole parental responsibility (forms of parental decision making authority), child support, life insurance to secure child support, health insurance for the child or children, contribution to daycare costs, contribution to extracurricular activities, relocation issues, abuse, or any of the other issues that may arise in your case.
A parenting plan is the document that defines that parents’ rights and responsibilities when it comes to their children. A parenting plan must, at a minimum, describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with raising the minor child or children. It must specify time-sharing arrangements and designate who will be responsible for health care and health care decisions. Additionally, it must address school-related matters, including the address to be used for school-boundary determination and registration. It must also describe the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child. The parenting plan is an intricate document for any divorce involving minor children. It is important to have an experienced divorce attorney by your side to assist with the developing your proposed parenting plan.
No, in Florida there is no presumption of 50/50 timesharing. While the trial court wants each parent to spend as much time with their child or children as possible, there is no presumption that a child or children should spend more time with one parent. The legislature previously proposed implementing a 50/50 presumption, but it did not become law.
Ultimately, the custody or timesharing schedule developed by the court must be based upon the best interests of the minor child or children. Florida statutes require the court to consider twenty factors when making a custody or timesharing determination. It is important that you and your divorce attorney carefully review and consider the factors when developing legal arguments to present to the court. The twenty factors that the court must consider are outlined below.
While there are many family law attorneys in Orlando, we would be honored to assist you through this difficult time. We handle these types of cases on a daily basis and are extraordinarily familiar with the intricacies they involve. If you would like to discuss your matter further, please do not hesitate to call our office at (407) 759-3397 and schedule a consultation, so that we may further evaluate your individual situation.