Divorce takes a heavy toll on families, especially children who have to split their time between two households. It is usually best to make a comprehensive time-sharing agreement that is agreed upon by both parents and file it with the court. If one parent is not adhering to the agreed-upon plan, it may be best to hire a Florida family law attorney to help with filing a formal order to request changes for shared custody in Florida.
The state of Florida no longer refers to child custody as “child custody,” but rather refers to time-sharing agreements, where one parent may have sole parental responsibility, or where one parent may have more parenting time with a child. Physical custody refers to the parent who establishes a home for the child. A custodial parent is the one who cares for, controls events in a minor child’s life while maintaining the necessities of daily living. A non-custodial parent is one that financially supports a child, but has an agreed upon schedule called “time-sharing” where they are able to spend time with the child based on a predetermined schedule with the other parent. In certain cases, if a parent is a threat to the child, custodial rights can be taken away based on court decisions after hearings and reviews are concluded. Sole custody is when a parent has full custody of a child with the financial support of the other parent and they make all decisions regarding the minor child. A lawyer can help in the preparation of documents.
The parental plan should outline the elements of shared parental responsibility regarding child support, holiday travel, and visitation with the non-custodial parent, or if joint custody is established and the child will be living between two homes, the breakdown of time each week. Both parents have to approve all decisions related to a minor child. It is also important to remember that time sharing affects the amount of child support paid to a parent for the child’s living expenses. When one parent needs changes to the plan, and the other disagrees, an attorney can assist with preparing an order to effectuate the changes with court approval.
Seek legal counsel.
Remember, any timesharing agreement or modification has no legal effect unless it has been made an order of court by the judge assigned to your case. After divorce, parents need to be confident in the safety and continued care of their children. An experienced family law attorney can make parties address all issues regarding children, and how they will spend time with their parents.
The Law Offices of Yeazell & Sweet
1901 Ulmerton Road Suite 435
Clearwater, FL 33762