Child Custody

Under Florida law, the court is responsible for determining the issues that pertain to child custody and shared parenting. These child custody laws deal with the legal and physical care of children whose parents are divorcing or those whose parents were never married. Florida child custody laws are designed to favor the best interests of a child, in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Florida child custody laws follow the public policy of the state, which favors a child’s frequent contact with both parents. In addition, these laws encourage shared parenting rights and responsibilities. 

Parenting Plans and Timesharing

Today Florida courts typically award what's called shared parental responsibility involving:

  • A court-approved parenting plan that describes in detail how parents decide such issues as education, health care, and other legal considerations regarding the daily care and upbringing of their children. 
  • A timesharing schedule (visitation) where each parent is granted reasonable and frequent time, that sets the number of overnights or weekends the child will spend with each parent, as well as schedules for pickup and drop-off, vacations and summers, school activities, and so on. 

Determining the Best Interests of the Child
The court is concerned with the best interests of the child — not necessarily your interests. Child development level plays a role and no one size fits all families. You may desire a 50-50 timesharing split, but this is not always healthy for young children or a child who needs more certainty and structure. On the other hand, an easygoing child or teen can be more adaptable to shifting between two homes.

Can I Get Sole Custody?
It is important to realize that shared parental responsibility means both parents share equal responsibility and decision-making and that no one has any greater rights or powers regarding the children. However, many parents mistakenly believe that they should be awarded sole residential and decision-making responsibility because they are a "better" parent.

Under most circumstances, don't waste your time and money seeking sole parental responsibility. Courts will not cut the other parent out of the picture without demonstrated evidence that the mother or father is unfit. "Poor parenting" is not the criteria; it is an actual danger to the child (physical or sexual abuse, emotional abuse or neglect, criminal activity, substance abuse).

What Factors does the Court consider?

During child custody proceedings, the court will consider a number of factors in order to determine the best interest of the child. These factors may include the love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parents and the child; the mental health, physical health, and morality of the parents; and-- most important of all--which parent is more likely to allow contact between the child and the secondary residential parent.

Contact Milton Child Custody Lawyer James Turner Today!

Milton child custody lawyer James Turner has experience handling child custody cases.  As a former attorney with the Guardian ad Litem Program (an agency appoint to oversee the best interests of children in child abuse cases) Mr. Turner has years of experience handling child custody cases.

Call (850) 983-0725 today to schedule an initial consultation.

Contact us online or call us to schedule your consultation with Santa Rosa County child custody attorney James Turner so that you can learn more about your rights and options.

Clients of the James Turner Law Firm, LLC know that excellence is in the very foundation of the firm.  Clients hire our firm for a reason: aggressive and quality representation.  We will always protect and pursue our clients’ interests to the extent of what the law allows.  We pursue a course of calculated aggression so as not over litigate when the case does not require it.  Essentially, it is our job to provide you with the most cost-effective, aggressive representation possible and we strive to do that each and every day.
Copyright 2015.  James Turner Law Firm, LLC.  The Milton, Florida, office of The James Turner Law Firm, LLC, serves clients throughout Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties, including Pensacola, Bellview, Gonzalez, Century, Pace, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Cantonment, Molino, Perdido Key, Walnut Hill, Bagdad, Navarre, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola Beach; counties including Santa Rosa County and Escambia County; as well as Eglin Air Force Base, Whiting Field and NAS Pensacola (Naval Air Station).
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