Florida Child Custody Lawyers Tips for a Successful Parenting Plan

Florida child custody lawyersWhat Palm Beach County Judges Really Think about the Right of First Refusal Custody Issue

Florida child custody lawyers, The Law Office of Jordan Gerber, P.A. discuss parenting plan guidelines. These are provided by Florida Statute 61.13 to help Palm Beach County judges with decisions about time sharing.

Florida Statute 61.13 is the Most Important Tool for Palm Beach County Judges to Establish a Parenting Plan

Many South Florida parents plan on appealing to Palm Beach County court judges for full custody of their kids. Maybe they’re unhappy with the way the other parent conducts themselves. Think late night partying or indulging in destructive behaviors. As a result, they’re primed and ready for a custody battle. This is when refusal time comes into play and things can take a turn from being civil. Before you let out a battle cry, do yourself a favor and learn about the present state of this legal issue. As of October 1, 2008, the term custody no longer exists due to changes in Florida Family Law. Further, Florida Statute 61.13 doesn’t provide any solutions for right of first refusal custody issues. Consequently, this provides another reason why it’s  important to consult Florida child custody lawyers.

Guidelines to Create a Functional Florida Parenting Plan

Equal time sharing between the parties is usually the starting point for Palm Beach County judges in creating a parenting plan. The Fifteenth judicial circuit judges opinion on this has evolved over time. Some point to updates of the traditional roles in the family home. Others believe the cause is due to the legislature’s recognition that a child is better off with two functional parents. The best interest of the child is a priority and a custody battle at the courthouse doesn’t really mesh with that. Whatever the motivation, Palm Beach County judges want to lessen the conflict between plan parents. This is why some are reluctant to order the right of first refusal.

Child Custody Laws in Florida are Designed for Shared Parental Responsibility

Proving that a parent is unfit to Palm Beach County judges can be difficult. For example, a client may tell circuit court judges that the other parent has taken part in substance abuse programs. When the parties have children, this is a pre-existing condition. Consequently, there are several factors to consider. These include how long ago a crisis occurred or if the parent has sought help. Even if a parent’s ability to interact with their child has been lessened or terminated, conditions must be set for re-establishment of contact even in the most extreme situations. It’s especially relevant to note that a party must be cautious in alleging the other parent is unfit for fear that the accusing parent failed to protect the child.

Florida child custody lawyersFlorida Shared Parental Responsibility from the Perspective of Palm Beach County Judges

Palm Beach County judges prefer shared parental responsibility when possible.  This means that the parties are working together to make major decisions affecting the welfare of their children. There are a variety of decisions that the parents share in the child’s upbringing such as:

  • Education, extra-curricular and summer activities
  • Medical condition and care
  • Social and religious training
  • Access of the children to grandparents and other relatives

Florida Child Custody Lawyers Use the Right of First Refusal Custody to Show the Importance of a Parenting Plan

The right of first refusal custody provision is used in agreements dealing with time sharing. Married parties don’t think twice about dropping the kids off at a babysitters or grandparents house. Parental rights are cherished, however, when parties split. As a result, the right of first refusal comes into play when a parent has plans during their time with the child. This requires the busy parent to first notify the other parent that they can’t honor their time sharing obligation. Upon notification, the other parent can exercise this right and take care of the child rather than leave the child with a third party. This is among the top requests a client will make to his or her Florida child custody lawyers.

What Palm Beach County Judges Consider when Creating a FL Parenting Plan

For purposes of establishing and creating a parenting plan, the best interest of the child is the primary consideration. Consequently, Palm Beach County judges evaluate several factors to make this determination.

  • Demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship.
  • Anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation.
  • Demonstrated capacity and disposition of each courts parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child instead of their own.
  • Firm length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  • Geographic viability of the parenting plan.
  • Moral fitness of the parents.
  • Mental and physical health of parent care.
  • Home, school, and community record of the child.
  • Reasonable preference of the child. This is left to the discretion of the FL judge.
  • Demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the public circumstances of the minor child.
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each times parents parent to provide a consistent time system routine for the child.
  • Demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child.

Florida child custody lawyersAdditional Child Custody Factors Considered in Creating or Modifying a Florida Parenting Plan

  • Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
  • Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
  • 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.
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.
  • Capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child.
  • Developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet these needs.
  • Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time sharing schedule.

How Child Custody Laws in Florida Influence a Parenting Plan

As noted above, determining what is in the child’s best interests requires an assessment of the circumstances by Fl judges. It is up to Florida child custody lawyers to ensure their clients perspectives are clear. The child’s interests are presumed to be best served when placed with a parent. The best interests standard for creating a Fl parenting plan is often described as vague. This is primarily because of the wide discretion awarded to judges by child custody laws in Florida. Consequently, Fl child custody laws do not require factual findings as to each of the enumerated factors listed above. It’s sufficient for the trial court to make a finding of the best interests of the minor child, provided that it’s supported by substantial competent evidence. Case law also provides different views as to which factors are most important and should be weighed most heavily.

Florida child custody lawyersFlorida Child Custody Lawyers on the Impact of A Child’s Preference

A judge isn’t compelled to interview a child just because the child’s preference is listed as a factor to determine custody. Once the determination has been made that the child is of sufficient age and maturity to state a custody preference, the question becomes how to best elicit that preference. There are several ways courts can obtain a child’s personal statement. This is done through open court testimony, during an in camera interview, or through the testimony of a guardian ad litem.

Florida Child Custody Lawyers Emphasize the Bottom Line

In order for joint custody to work, the parents have to be willing to cooperate, at least on matters relating to their children. The success of a Fl parenting plan may depend upon the extent to which the parents can keep their personal animosity in the background. This will enable them to successfully make decisions which are in the child’s best interests. By accepting a joint custody arrangement, the parties should be committing themselves to a cooperative endeavor to raise their children together. Although complete agreement can be rare, the parents must want to cooperate in making decisions and must be able to agree on basic issues. The fact that one parent objects to shared parenting does not preclude the award if the court feels that such an arrangement is in the child’s best interests.

Click  Boca Raton Child Custody Lawyers today to schedule your consultation. Proudly Serving Boca Raton, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach and all of Palm Beach County, Florida. Assisting in all matters of Florida Family Law.

Boca Raton Florida Child Custody Lawyers Practice Areas Include:

  • Simplified Dissolution of Marriage

  • Contested Divorce

  • Uncontested Divorce

  • Child Custody Laws

  • Parental Rights

  • Parenting Plan Florida

  • Time Sharing

  • Child Custody Laws In Florida

  • Right Of First Refusal Custody

  • Relocation Under Florida Statute 61.13001

  • Parental Rights In Florida

  • Paternity

  • Modification of Child Custody In Florida

  • Florida Child Support Enforcement

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