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Primary Custody

Posted by attorney Jordan Gerber

Halle and Gabriel. Usher and Tameka. Steve and Alejandra. Unless you have been completely disconnected from reality this past year (a la Lindsay Lohan, NFL replacement refs and the Republican majority), these star crossed lovers immediately trigger one thought: custody battle. And since the public is obsessed with celebrity trends (as an aside, enough with the red lipstick ladies. Yes, it looks gorgeous on Taylor and Rihanna, but let’s face it…), it is no surprise that the Average Joe/Jane is scratching his or her respective head and wondering, “Just how do you get custody of a child?"

In previous posts, we discussed Florida’s abandonment of the terms “visitation" and “custody" in favor of the verbiage “time sharing" and “parenting plan" in an effort to reduce the adversarial nature of dealing with the creation of a new family dynamic. In essence, the very question “How do you get custody of a child?" is obsolete. Further, it is no longer permissible to adopt a plan that provides for general “shared parental responsibility" with “liberal and frequent" time-sharing. Any parenting plan developed by the parents and approved by the court must, at a minimum, describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the 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.

Long gone are the days when it was automatically assumed Mama Dukes would ride off into the sunset with the little pipsqueaks in tow and allow Pops to come by every other Saturday for an outing to the race track and Carvel. In fact, courts have stated that important statutory changes by the legislature in the past few years have abrogated any judicial presumption against equal timesharing. Heard the excuse that one party needs to breastfeed or provide extraordinary medical care for the minor child? Sorry bout cha, even extenuating circumstances such as these will not substantiate a restriction of timesharing for the other party. If you are seeking an alternate timesharing arrangement other than 50/50, it is important to retain the services of a skilled attorney who is familiar with the statutory factors determining what is in the best interests of the child.

At The Law Office of Jordan Gerber, we know that your child is the most important part of your life. Through a thorough evaluation of the factors set forth in Chapter 61.13, Florida Statutes for the establishment of a parenting plan/timesharing arrangement, our main goal is to help you achieve the arrangement that best suits your individual circumstances.

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