Florida legislature, in year 2008, made major changes in the child custody laws; and one of the major changes was removal of word “custody”, “non-custodial parent”, “custodial”, “primary residential parent” and ‘visitation”. Instead of these words, the legislature added terms like “sole parental responsibility”, equal-time sharing”, “shared-parental responsibility” and “majority time-sharing”. Howsoever, the older terms are still used interchangeably with the new ones. According to Florida statutes, visitation rights and joint custody are allowed.
Similar to many other US states, Florida also follows Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (PDF). But before filing for child custody in Florida, it is essential for you to understand all other changes, rules and regulations associated with it. For this, it is highly recommended to consult and/or hire an experienced lawyer, specialised in child custody laws of Florida. Not only to understand the laws and your rights, the lawyer can also help in case where you and your ex cannot reach to a mutual parental responsibility agreement. He/She can help you present your case in court.
Child Custody Statutes in Florida
The court consider child’s own wish and preference while making a decision on parental responsibility. However, the court makes sure that child’s preferences are in best of his/her interest. Besides, the court also consider following factors to make any decision on parental responsibility.
- Which parent will allow the child to be in continuous contact with the other parent
- Which parent can provide better and stable home environment to the child
- Which parent can provide better care to child’s daily necessities, medical requirements, etc.
- Each parent’s moral wellbeingness
- Each parent’s job security
- Emotional bond of child with each parent
- Child’s school and community
- Each parent’s history of child abuse, criminal record and domestic violence, if any
Note: The above list is not limited to the mentioned factors only. You can consult your lawyer for queries.