Orlando Child Custody & Paternity Attorney
We represent people in divorce cases involving child custody and time-sharing determinations. Every case involving the time-sharing schedule for a child is unique, and in many cases, people who fail to seek legal representation later discover that they have made critical mistakes due to a misunderstanding of the law and how it relates to their children and situation. If you are involved in a divorce or paternity case with time-sharing issues, call us today to speak with an experienced Orlando child custody attorney. At the Wilson Law Firm, we work to protect your interests and assist you in resolving your situation in an effective and efficient manner.
Time-sharing involves the scheduled days the child will spend with each parent. In Florida, the Court will determine all matters relating to time-sharing for each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child as defined in Florida Statute 61.13. The time-sharing schedule can vary considerably due to the unique factors involved in every case. For more information about time-sharing in a divorce, speak with an Orlando child custody attorney today.
It is the public policy of Florida to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of child-rearing. For more information, speak with an Orlando child custody attorney today.
Rebuttable Presumption of 50/50 Time-Sharing as of July 1, 2023:
There was a change in Florida to the law regarding time-sharing on July 1, 2023. There is now a rebuttable presumption that equal time-sharing of a minor child is in the best interests of the minor child. To rebut this presumption, a party must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that equal time-sharing is not in the best interests of the minor child. Except when a time-sharing schedule is agreed to by the parties and approved by the court.
Courts Evaluation Factors:
The Court will evaluate the following factors in determining child custody and time-sharing:
1) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
2) The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.
3) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.
4) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
5) The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling, effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against the relocation of either parent with a child.
6) The moral fitness of the parents.
7) The mental and physical health of the parents.
8) The home, school, and community records of the child.
9) The reasonable preference of the child if the Court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
10) The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child's friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things.
11) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.
12) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.
13) Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought. If the court accepts evidence of prior or pending actions regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, the court must specifically acknowledge in writing that such evidence was considered when evaluating the best interests of the child.
14) Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the Court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
15) The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division of parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties.
16) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child's school and extracurricular activities.
17) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.
18) The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child.
19) The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child's developmental needs.
20) Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing schedule. For more information, speak with an Orlando child custody attorney today.
Location of the Child:
The Court has jurisdiction to approve, grant, or modify time-sharing, notwithstanding that the child is not physically present in this state at the time of filing any proceeding, if it appears to the Court that the child was removed from this state for the primary purpose of removing the child from the jurisdiction of the Court in an attempt to avoid the Court's approval and creation of a time-sharing plan. For more information, speak with an Orlando child custody attorney today.