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Child Custody & Visitation
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Over the past few years, Florida’s laws concerning custody of minor children following a divorce have evolved significantly. Florida Statute 61.13(2)(c)(1) provides that it is the public policy of the state of Florida for children under the age of 18 to have “frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved.”
Divorcing or divorced couples with children often have the dilemma of how to handle the issue of two parents, kids and the holidays. The court does not care about the needs of the parents. Rather, the focus is on the children and what is in the children’s best interests.
All child custody cases deal with issues such as time-sharing and child support, whether the case is a civilian or a military one.
A paternity action seeks a legal declaration as to who the Father of a child is. It is sometimes necessary if the parents of a child are not married. In such an action, once the court adjudicates who the father is (there is never a dispute as to who the mother is) the court will then adjudicate issues of timesharing and support.
Visitation is an outdated term. It is now called "timesharing" and is a major component of any Parenting Plan. A schedule is created either by agreement of the parties or court order after a trial.
Perhaps no other area of family law is more emotionally charged and difficult to deal with than the issue of relocation with the children after a divorce. When negotiating timesharing, a compromise can be struck for a little more time or a little less time without much difficulty.
Grandparents’ rights to visit and contact their grandchildren are provided for by Florida law. However, it is very important to know that the Florida Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court have explained that such laws represent an unconstitutional invasion of the parents’ rights to raise their own child.
Your children are the most important and vulnerable members of your family. It is of the utmost importance that they be fully protected emotionally and financially during the divorce process. The term "custody" is no longer in use.
We previously discussed in this space that, under Florida law, the court can order one or both parties to a child time-sharing plan to post a surety bond.
Previously in this space we discussed the fact that Florida and the other 49 states each passed the Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Act to promote mutual respect for child custody determinations from one state to the next.
In a Florida divorce or paternity proceeding, the best Tampa child custody lawyers often use guardians ad litem for the benefit of the children. A guardian ad litem should not act as an attorney or advocate for the child, but rather as next friend of the child in seeking the child’s best interests.
The court system uses guardians ad litem to assist in cases involving children. In order to be appointed by the court to perform this task, you must meet one of three qualifications.
A Florida child custody determination deals with the details of who is physically and legally responsible for the child and what timesharing rights other parties may have.
In a Florida child custody case, if the court sets a parenting plan designating timesharing rights for each parent and there is a reasonable and foreseeable risk that one parent may violate this plan or remove the child from the state or country, the court can take certain measures to ensure that this does not happen.
A dispute over child custody in a Florida divorce or paternity case can often become very emotional and divisive. The more animosity there is, the more it hurts the children involved.
It is often difficult for parents to agree on a timesharing schedule for the children in a Florida divorce. After all, it is difficult to reach agreement on many things as you dissolve your relationship.
If minor children are involved in your divorce your case is never really over until they are no longer minors. During the divorce the custody and visitation issues will hopefully be resolved by agreement of if necessary by the judge.
Your children are the most important and vulnerable members of your family. It is of the utmost importance that they be fully protected emotionally and financially during the divorce process.
There was a time in history when the mother of a young child had an absolute right to be the full-time, custodial parent of the child. The father would see the child now and then and would pay child support. The mother made all the decisions regarding the child.
Suppose your spouse is a citizen of a foreign country and your marriage is not going well. Your child has a U.S. passport and you fear that your spouse will sneak out of the country with the child.
There is nothing more important than the welfare of your children. When you are headed for a breakup of your relationship with the children’s other parent, whether it be a divorce or a paternity situation, there are some steps you can take to protect your children.
When a relationship ends and there are children involved, there is quite frequently an urge to take the children and move away from the other parent.
Unfortunately, many of us are related to or have friends who are divorced. Divorce brings about a restructuring of families in which parents have to continue to cooperate and communicate long after the dissolution of the marriage.

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Florida requires an equitable distribution of the marital property (what is fair, not necessarily equal). Each spouse keeps the property and debts that belonged to them before the marriage. Each spouse also keeps any property received as a gift or inheritance, or any property that the spouses agree to divide in a written agreement. Any property that was acquired before the spouses married or that was received as a gift or inheritance is not considered marital property. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement, a court will divide the property and the debt.

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