Jupiter Child Custody Lawyer
In Florida, child custody is divided into two categories: timesharing and parental responsibility. The former refers to the amount of time that a child spends with each parent, while the latter involves the sharing of responsibility for making decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, and religion. When two parents are unable to come up with an agreement that divides these rights and responsibilities amongst themselves, then a court will step in and make a decision on the parties’ behalf. For help coming up with a custody arrangement that best suits your family’s needs, consider reaching out to a Jupiter child custody lawyer for help.
Timesharing vs Parental Responsibility
In Florida child custody cases, parents must attempt to come up with a parenting plan, which outlines how they will share custody and responsibility for decision-making authority. At a minimum, these plans must contain:
- A timesharing schedule that specifies how much time the child will spend with each parent;
- Details about how the parents will share responsibility for the daily tasks of childcare;
- A designation of who will make decisions about the child’s healthcare and education; and
- A plan for how the parents will communicate with the children.
Basically, parenting plans require parents to come up with a two-part plan; one that details a child’s weekly schedule (timesharing) and one that explains how parents will share the burden of making decisions for the child (parental responsibility).
The Child’s Best Interests
When two parents come up with a parenting plan, they will need to submit it to the court for approval. If parents cannot reach an agreement, on the other hand, then a court will create its own parenting plan. In both cases, the court will only approve a plan that it deems to be in the child’s best interests. What qualifies as being in a child’s best interests will depend on the family’s unique circumstances, including:
- The child’s relationship with each parent;
- Each parent’s responsibility for caretaking responsibilities prior to the divorce;
- The child’s preference, if he or she is deemed mature enough to make a reasoned decision;
- The distance between the parents’ homes;
- Each parent’s physical and mental health;
- Both parents’ work schedules;
- The child’s home, school, and community record;
- Each parent’s willingness to facilitate a close relationship with the child, to honor the timesharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are necessary; and
- Whether there is a history of substance abuse or domestic violence in the family.
There is no one-size-fits-all custody arrangement. Instead, courts will use the evidence presented by a child’s parents to assess the aforementioned factors and come up with a timesharing schedule that suits the specific family. It’s also important to note that even if a court decides to award majority timesharing to one parent, it may still divide parental responsibility equally between both parents.
Contact a Dedicated Jupiter Child Custody Lawyer for Help
For help coming up with a custody arrangement that is best for your child, call 561-288-0548 and set up a meeting with experienced Jupiter child custody attorney Caroline Olson, P.A. today.