The attorneys and staff at our West Palm Beach child custody law firm understand that a troubling aspect of a divorce for most parents is the potential impact on their children. While a marital dissolution can be difficult for children, many parents guided by an experienced West Palm Beach divorce attorney are able to amicably resolve their time-share and parenting plan issues so that their children face a minimum level of animosity, stress and fear about the future. Our compassionate and dedicated team works diligently to seek the best possible outcome for our clients and their children while minimizing the stress and conflict that can prevent reaching a mutually agreeable parenting plan. While we have provided some answers to frequently asked questions regarding parenting plan issues below, the best way to get more detailed information is to contact us to arrange a free initial consultation.
What are the chances that I can get sole custody of my children?
Florida courts focus on promoting frequent ongoing contact with both parents. This means that it is highly unlikely that a court will grant custody (“time-sharing”) exclusively to one parent in a Florida divorce. Even if one of the parents is found to be unfit because of drug or alcohol abuse, supervised time-sharing is a more likely result for the parent deemed to be unfit. It is also probable that if the parent with the substance abuse problem can establish that he/she no longer poses a danger to his or her children, the court will remove the supervision requirement.
What is a parenting plan, and what should it include?
Florida revamped its laws regarding child custody and visitation in 2008 moving away from the traditional concept of a “primary residential parent” to more modern concepts of a parenting plan and time-sharing arrangements. The process of developing custody arrangements in a Florida divorce is now based on developing a parenting plan that includes provisions for communication, sharing information and decision-making and time-sharing arrangements. While a judge will fashion a parenting plan if you cannot agree with your spouse, Mr. Cunha and his legal team will make every attempt to facilitate a negotiated parenting plan including time-sharing arrangements. A negotiated parenting plan will almost always be preferable to one imposed by a family law judge.
The parenting plan must describe in adequate detail how both parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of their child, the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent, a designation of who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, other activities, and the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.
How does a Florida court create a parenting plan?
If a Florida family law judge must impose time-sharing arrangements, the court will be guided by the “best interest of the child” based on a number of factors that are outlined in Fla. Stat. § 61.13(3). These factors generally focus on the parenting history of each parent, ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs, and protection of the child’s welfare. For a more extensive analysis of these factors see our child custody and parental time-sharing website pages.
What happens if one of the parents in a West Palm Beach divorce wants to relocate with the children?
There is a statutory procedure that must be complied with for either parent to relocate the children more than fifty miles from the children’s primary residence. The moving parent must either obtain the written consent of the other parent or file for a court hearing and provide notice to the other parent. The court will consider factors like the reasons for the move, impact on the other party’s time-sharing and other relevant factors. Experienced West Palm Beach parental relocation attorney James S. Cunha and his legal team can assist you in negotiating and drafting such an agreement or litigating this issue in front of a family law judge.
While this information may provide answers to some of your questions regarding West Palm Beach child custody issues, the best way to obtain more detailed information is to meet with experienced West Palm Beach child custody attorneys at the Law Offices of James S. Cunha, P.A. No matter where you are located, experienced Palm Beach parenting plan attorney James S. Cunha and his legal team are just a phone call away.