The Florida Legislature has specifically eliminated the label “Custodial Parent” or “Primary Residential Parent”. No longer can a parent go to court in Broward County or anywhere else in the State of Florida to fight for this type of label. The Florida Legislature has determined that it is better for families to eliminate labels as it relates to the parents and the children. Now, instead of focusing on a label the Judge must determine a timesharing schedule and a Parenting Plan. At no time will the Judge award “custody”. That said, if a parent is unfit to have timesharing with the children the Judge can require supervised timesharing or in extreme situations no timesharing whatsoever.
The issues related to timesharing presents some of the most emotionally trying issues in the entire area of family law. To a parent going through a divorce, nothing is more important than the ability to take part in the children’s lives and upbringing. At Schantz and Schantz, our Weston, Florida and Coral Springs family law attorneys will help you understand the complexities of divorces which involve children.
A Parenting Plan will specifically deal with where the children spend overnights and holidays with their parents. The Judge’s in the State of Florida, prefer that the parent’s work out timesharing between themselves. That said, if the parents cannot agree to timesharing, in Florida the Court will determine timesharing in accordance of what is in the best interest of the children. In almost all cases without domestic violence, the Judge may order you to mediation as a means to help the parties agree to a workable timesharing schedule, both temporarily while the divorce proceedings are under way, and permanently after the proceedings have ended. If you are successful at mediation, the results then become a binding agreement and would be submitted to the Judge for their signature. Judges prefer that the parties come to the decisions on their own because then there is less likelihood of the need for a modification in the future. Most importantly, if both parents agree to the timesharing schedule and Parenting Plan, the parties are less likely to need court intervention in the future.
In Florida, it is public policy of our State family court judges to ensure that children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the divorce. If parents cannot agree on a parenting plan for the children, the court will decide. The legal standard is always the child’s “best interest.” The evidence a court can consider includes psychological evaluations, social investigations, drug testing if relevant, and witness testimony. Also, if a child is of sufficient age, the Judge can allow a child to testify. Most likely, if children’s issues develop instead of allowing a child to testify in court the Judge may want to appoint a Guardian Ad Litem on behalf of the child. The appointment of a Guardian Ad Litem takes place fairly often in our law practice in Weston, Florida and Coral Springs, Florida.
In most cases, the Judge will order weekly timesharing, weekend timesharing and timesharing on holidays. In all respects, both parents are supposed to have frequent and continuing contact with their children. Interestingly, the Judge is not supposed to have cookie cutter solution in all cases. Rather the Judge is supposed to account for the unique circumstances of your family. After 34 years of law practice, Schantz and Schantz can help you solve the issues related to timesharing.
The Weston family law attorneys at Schantz and Schantz provide experienced representation in order to protect the best interest of you, your children, and your financial situation. Our attorneys are experienced litigators and understand how to navigate the Florida Family laws in order to achieve the most favorable outcomes for our clients. For 34 years, Mr. and Mrs. Schantz have been protecting your legal rights in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. We will pay attention to the issues important to you and your family. Most importantly, we will fight on behalf of you and your family. The attorneys at Schantz and Schantz, are knowledgeable, experienced and aggressive divorce trial lawyers who take your case to heart. Feel free to contact our office today at 954-385-1536.