CHILD CUSTODY/TIME SHARE
If there are children born of the marriage, their status is not affected by the divorce. Florida Statutes, Section 61.052 (4) states: A judgment of dissolution of marriage shall result in each spouse having the status of being single and unmarried. No judgment of dissolution of marriage renders the child of the marriage a child born out of wedlock. Children, however, are often negatively impacted by a divorce, and may need counseling to assist in processing any negative feelings they may have as a result of their parents' divorce. Parents are encouraged to co-parent peacefully for the sake of their child(ren), and Florida Courts require that parents with a minor child(ren) attend a Parent Education and Family Stabilization course and obtain a certificate of completion before granting a divorce. Currently, parents may attend a Department of Children and Family approved course online or in person, and the Court provides a list of these approved courses with its order dictating parents' attendance.
There is no "child custody" in Florida and only "time-share"
The Court will require a parenting plan be submitted to the court for its approval. Florida Statutes dictate that the plan must set forth the following:
A parenting plan approved by the court must, at a minimum:
1. Describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child;
2. Include the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent;
3. Designate who will be responsible for:
a. Any and all forms of health care. If the court orders shared parental responsibility over health care decisions, the parenting plan must provide that either parent may consent to mental health treatment for the child.
b. School-related matters, including the address to be used for school-boundary determination and registration.
c. Other activities; and
4. Describe in adequate detail the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.
(c) The court shall determine all matters relating to parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, except that modification of a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule requires a showing of a substantial, material, and unanticipated change of circumstances.
1.It is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, there is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.
2. The court shall order that the parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. The following evidence creates a rebuttable presumption of detriment to the child:
a. A parent has been convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher involving domestic violence, as defined in s. 741.28 and chapter 775;
b. A parent meets the criteria of s. 39.806(1)(d); or
c. A parent has been convicted of or had adjudication withheld for an offense enumerated in s. 943.0435(1)(h)1.a., and at the time of the offense:
(I) The parent was 18 years of age or older.
(II) The victim was under 18 years of age or the parent believed the victim to be under 18 years of age.
In other words, it is very difficult to prove that a parent is unfit to parent, and the Courts hesistate to keep a parent from their child.
Child time share matters can be emotional and complicated. Contact our office for assistance.