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Florida Child Custody

Posted by attorney Heather Quick

Florida Child Custody laws have changed. The most important change is the language for child custody. The term now used is "time-sharing". What this really means is that the minor child or children will share time between the parents. The intent of the change in the law is to encourage and foster parents to continue to get along and share their time with the children, rather than one parent having primary custody of the child. When you are considering filing for divorce and researching the divorce laws in Florida, it is important to understand not only how the courts view child custody, but also how that will impact child support and your overall divorce. If you are in a situation where both parents are communicating and in agreement on the raising of your children, this will not pose too much difficulty. However, as is typical in a divorce, the Husband and Wife are not effectively communicating on many levels, so issues related to the children and visitation are sometimes difficult to achieve. Because of these difficulties, it is important to retain a divorce lawyer who understands your point of view and who is willing to advocate on your behalf to accomplish your goals. With the new laws related to time-sharing, Fathers are not necessarily only provided every other weekend and a "dinner night", one evening a week. If the Father can show he is willing and able to spend more time with the children, it is likely the Court will order a time-sharing plan that is similar to a joint custody arrangement. You need to talk to your lawyer about how the different types of time-sharing arrangements can affect the child support that is ordered as well as alimony, equitable distribution and even the marital home. Despite the change in the name in Florida from child custody to time-sharing, all decisions are going to still be based upon what is in the best interest of the child.

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