Who Gets Custody in Florida?

A common assumption among divorcees is that mothers generally receive preferential custody in divorce proceedings. Nowadays, the law and judges’ outlook on “the best interest of the child” is much different from what it used to be. Thankfully, this means that neither parent is given a preference over the other under Florida statute. Also, “custody” is not used anymore; it is now time-sharing. 

Determining Time-sharing

Judges will look at a variety of factors to determine what kind of time-sharing plan will be best for the children involved. These factors include but are not limited to: each parent’s willingness to encourage a close and continuing relationship with the child and honor the schedule, the division of parental responsibilities, the stability of the environment, and the capacity of the parent to provide a consistent routine. Because these details will be evaluated to determine time-sharing, it’s crucial to preserve any evidence you may have to support your claim for more time-sharing. When it comes to giving more time to one parent, the court won’t do so without evidence that demonstrates why that parent should receive majority time. 

Can I Get Full Custody?

There is confusion about what is meant by “full custody.” Do you mean that the other parent does not see the child at all? Or do you mean that the child is with you most of the time and the other parent just has visitation? Either way, “full custody” is not very common in Florida. If a parent wants to have sole parental responsibility and majority time-sharing of their children, they must prove to the judge a crucial reason why. Often, the reasoning stems from verifiable abuse. Some judges who grant sole responsibility and majority time-sharing will also order some sort of time-sharing for the other parent, so that they’re still able to remain in contact with the child. In rare cases, a parent’s rights may be terminated for egregious acts. It is in these cases where the offending parent would not have some sort of time-sharing. Parents who deem “full custody” necessary will have to bring a breadth of evidence to the judge, demonstrating that the other parent being completely removed from their child’s life is in the child’s best interest because the child is at risk of harm.

You Need a Quality Divorce Attorney

Fighting over time-sharing of your children isn’t easy, and adjusting a parenting plan after the fact can be even more difficult. When it comes to time-sharing, you shouldn’t leave anything up to chance. A high-quality and experienced divorce attorney is essential to ensuring that your case is given the care it deserves, and nothing is left on the table. If you’re facing divorce and want to ensure you get the results you need, contact us today to discuss our services.

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Heather Bryan Law, P.A.

Our firm has experience defending Floridians against all sorts of criminal charges. Additionally, we are well-equipped to handle emotionally charged family law matters and devastating personal injury cases.

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