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Florida Child Custody Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Florida Courts Determine Custody?

Florida state law does not refer to joint to sole child custody, but rather to time-sharing when it comes to sharing parental responsibility for children. The court orders schedules based on the best interest of the child. One of the factors that the court will take into account when devising a time-sharing schedule is the reasonable preference of the child (in most circumstances).

How Do They Calculate Child Support?

According to the Florida Child Support Guidelines Worksheet, child support is calculated based on the income of the spouses, child time-sharing, and other related costs such as child care, health insurance costs, medical, dental, and prescription care costs.

How Do Parents Agree on Certain Terms and Conditions?

Parental responsibility is outlined in a mandatory parenting plan in all cases involving time-sharing with a child, even if the parents are not disputing time-sharing. Details included in the parenting plan must include, but are not limited to:

  • How the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks re: child upbringing;
  • The time-sharing schedule arrangements re: child’s time with each parent;
  • Who will be responsible for health care, school-related matters, and activities; and
  • The methods that both parents will use to communicate with the child.

Section 61.13(3), Florida Statutes lay out certain factors that must be included when determining the best interests of the child in the parenting plan:

  • Capacity of each parent to encourage a close parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable about any needed changes;
  • Division of parental responsibilities (after litigation);
  • Capacity of each parent to put the child’s needs before theirs;
  • How much time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and whether keeping continuity is important;
  • Geographic viability of the parenting plan;
  • Moral fitness and mental and physical health of the parents;
  • Home, school, and community record of the child;
  • Preference of the child;
  • Capacity of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the child;
  • Capacity to provide a consistent routine for the child;
  • Capacity to keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the child;
  • Any evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect;
  • Whether either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect;
  • The particular parenting tasks performed by each parent;
  • Capacity to be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities;
  • Capacity to maintain an environment which is free from substance abuse;
  • Capacity to protect the child from the litigation; and
  • Capacity to meet the child’s developmental needs.

Contact Us for Assistance with Child Custody

Whether you are seeking to establish custody and time-sharing through your divorce, or seeking parenting rights through other means, we can help you through the entire process. Please contact Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. to schedule a consultation. We represent both mothers and fathers in child custody matters in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and throughout Broward County.

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