Child Custody FAQs

Answers to Common Questions about Child Custody

What is the difference between custody, timesharing and visitation?

In 2008, Florida changed the old paradigm of child custody and visitation. Parents now share rights and responsibilities according to a timesharing parenting plan.

Do I need a lawyer to determine child custody?

Retaining a lawyer to prepare and represent you in a child custody case is like hiring a doctor to help you address your health. You should perhaps hire one of the Miami child custody lawyers to help you understand the law and properly prepare your case.

What is a parenting plan?

A parenting plan must be submitted to family court as part of a divorce when minor children are involved. The plan takes into consideration nearly every aspect of the minor child’s life, including residence, education, medical care and how much time the child will spend with each parent. A family law attorney can help.

What is timesharing?

In timesharing, the best interests of the child are the overriding consideration and more equitably shares both the responsibilities and privileges of parenthood that includes all aspects of the child’s life.

Can I get sole custody of my child?

Sole custody means that one of the child’s parents has both the legal and physical custody of that child with limited contact with the other parent. If you feel this would be best for your child, contact a child custody lawyer Miami.

How do I get sole custody of my children?

If one of the parents can prove that significant contact with the other parent would be detrimental to a child, he or she may receive sole legal and physical custody. Contact one of the child support lawyers in Miami to find out if this is a possibility for you.

Do I have to share custody of my child?

The short answer is yes, unless you can prove that significant contact with the other parent will be detrimental to your child.

If I move out and leave my children with their other parent, will I be denied custody later?

The best interests of your children are the basis of a timesharing parenting plan. Your spouse will have to prove that you are unfit by some reason to deny you shared custody.

Are mothers more likely than fathers to be awarded custody?

Custody is no longer on the table for either parent in Florida. This model does not favor one parent over another, regardless of whether they are the mother or the father.

Is race an issue in custody or visitation decisions?

The best interests of the child are the sole issues in these decisions which are made by the family court.

Who determines how much visitation is reasonable and fair?

The family court judge will consider whether the plan reasonably allows each parent equitable and reasonable access to the children.

Is mediation the best approach to solving disagreements about child custody?

Mediation is a way for parties in a dispute to reach a fair and equitable agreement. Divorcing families are far better served if they reach an agreement than if the family court imposes its will.

What is a “primary caretaker”?

Family courts prefer leaving a child in the care of the parent who has provided daily care and supervision of the child during the marriage or relationship.

Can I get custody of my child if I never married the mother?

In Florida, a biological father must prove that he is the father before he and assert any rights whatsoever. Once his paternity is legally established, he can participate in a parenting plan.

What is the main difference between “physical” and “legal” custody of the child?

When a parent has physical custody of a child, it means the child lives with him/her all or most of the time. Legal custody involves making decisions regarding the residence and the medical, mental health, legal and education decisions for the child.

I am a single mother who never married my child’s father. Does he have legal rights to custody?

If a man can prove he is the father of a child, he may have time-sharing rights. Contact one of the Miami child custody lawyers to help safeguard the right of you and your child.

Can my former spouse and I determine a custody and visitation arrangement without the court?

Custody and visitation are no longer the terms used in Florida and have been replaced by timesharing. Rather than imposition by the court, parents are required to work together to develop a parenting plan for the children for the purpose of time-sharing after divorce.

Can someone other than a parent be awarded custody?

If both parents are unable or unwilling to care for a child either permanently or temporarily, another person can be awarded custody by the family court. Contact a family law attorney if this situation applies to you.

Do grandparents have a legal right to visitation with their grandchild?

In Florida, family courts have been hesitant to grant petitions by grandparents for visitation. Miami child custody lawyers can help grandparents and parents with this matter.

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