Jacksonville Child Custody Lawyer
Handling Divorce and Family Law Cases
In the state of Florida, child custody decisions are typically finalized in a parenting plan, or an official document created between the divorcing spouses to establish each of their roles in regards to raising and rearing their children after the divorce concludes. In a parenting plan, the divorcing couple will either create their own guidelines pertaining to the children’s education, healthcare, and social wellbeing, or use preexisting guidelines set up by the state if no agreement can be made. Ultimately, a parenting plan should tell each parent in clear language how, why, and when they are responsible for the major life decisions of their children.
If you need to make a parenting plan, or if you have a child custody dispute, our Jacksonville child custody lawyers at Albaugh Law Firm can help you. We have more than 70 years of combined legal experience and take on each case as a team, giving you access to professionals who see the issue from all angles and take appropriate steps to come to a resolution for you and your family.
Dial 904-450-5313 today to set up a free consultation.
Different and Distinct Forms of Custody Agreements
In your child custody case, you need to be aware that there are four factors that can go into how you will be spending time with your child, and your rights as a parent in the future.
- Parental responsibility: This is a parent’s ability to make decisions for their child or the child’s upbringing. This will terminate on the child’s 18th birthday, assuming they do not have any mental or physical incapacity.
- Physical custody: This determines where a child will live, and potentially affects visitation and relocation rights of either spouse.
- Shared: The court orders that you and your ex-spouse divide responsibility and custody.
- Sole: The court orders that one parent have all or inclusive custody or rights over the child.
The four aspects can be interchanged according to what the divorce court deems works best for the child’s needs. When you are creating your parenting plan, either with your ex-spouse or with your divorce lawyer, you need to consider how responsibility and custody will be split, if at all.
Example: If you have sole physical custody of your child but shared parental responsibility, your child will live only with you, but both you and your ex-spouse need to work together when an important life choice comes up.
Florida Family Court Principles
The divorce court in Florida State will not leave matters up to chance when it comes to deciding which parent deserves which set of rights or custody time. There is an established set of guiding principles family court judges are told to consider when determining your child’s best interests. This bears repeating: your child’s best interests are always the priority, not yours or your spouse’s.
Some of the primary guiding principles include:
- Child must live in a safe, permanent home.
- All members present in family court must be treated with respect.
- Related family law issues should be addressed simultaneously.
- Encouraging family happiness and stability should be a priority.
- Families may have a say in what legal processes are used, when reasonable.
- Family court costs and fees should remain affordable.
- Family court cases must be overseen by highly trained professionals.
If you believe that any of the aforementioned guiding principles of Florida family court were not followed during your divorce, you may have legal grounds to contest the child custody agreement. This could be done either by attempting to revoke the power of the first agreement, or by modifying it to better suit what you believe is right and fair. An attorney’s help will be required no matter which option you take.
Seek a Satisfactory Conclusion – 904-450-5313
If you want to file for custody or parental responsibility in your divorce case, you should first retain the services of our Jacksonville child custody attorneys. When we work on your case, we will want to structure any agreements so that both you and your child benefit from the outcome. We start by planning a strategy for the conference room, hoping to avoid court costs by settling matters with your ex in private, but we also prepare each case as if it will go to court. Our clients come to us for our strength and experience, and stay for our compassion and dedication.
Learn more about what we do during a free case evaluation.