When two parents in Orlando divorce, the issue of who will have custody of the child may be one of the most important divorce issues they will need to resolve. It can be difficult for each parent to face the reality that there will be times when they will not have their child in their care. This can lead to custody battles that ultimately are damaging to all involved. Therefore, when it comes to determining child custody, courts in Florida and nationwide use the "best interests of the child" standard.
It used to be the case that when it came to divorce and child custody, the mother would usually be granted custody of the child, and the father would have visitation rights. However, this trend is changing, and more parents in Florida are sharing parenting time and parental responsibility. This often benefits the child, who should be able to have a meaningful relationship with both parents, even if the parents are no longer married.
Unfortunately, not every divorce in Orlando is amicable. Sometimes, a couple is engaged in a toxic divorce where emotions run high and the spouses are in constant conflict with one another. While this is not a good situation for the spouses, it is an even worse situation when the couple has a child. In a high conflict divorce, child custody can be a hot-button issue. Both parties want to "win" custody of the child, and may refuse to negotiate a custody schedule that allows both of them to spend quality time with the child.
When a child is born to married parents in Florida, the husband is legally presumed to be the child's father, with all the rights that entails should the couple divorce. However, this is not the case for unmarried parents. If a child's parents are not married at the time of the child's birth, then the child's biological father must establish paternity in order to obtain parental rights to the child. This becomes especially important when the child's unmarried parents are no longer in a relationship with one another, and the child's biological father wants to pursue his rights regarding parental responsibility and time-sharing.
When it comes to child custody and visitation issues in the aftermath of a couples' relationship or during a divorce, the trend is leaning more towards equal time-sharing. This allows both parents to have a relationship with their child.
A Florida man recently went to court in his pursuit of parental rights over his biological child. At issue is the fact that the child's biological mother is denying the child's biological father rights to his child, because another man has been legally recognized by the state as the child's legal father. The court needs to determine whether it is in the best interests of the child for the child to have a relationship with his biological father.
Technology has changed at a rapid rate over the past 25 years. It used to be that writing a letter or making a phone call were the only ways to communicate with someone that you could not talk to face-to-face. Now, people in Orlando can communicate with loved ones in an instant, via email, text messaging, social media networks or even video chats. This use of technology has bled into many areas of our lives, including child custody.
When a modification of a parenting plan is requested in Florida, the standard that will be used in deciding whether to modify the parenting plan is the best interests of the child. In addition, a modification cannot be made unless it can be shown that there has been a change of circumstances that is unanticipated, material and substantial. There are several factors that will be considered when a court determines whether to modify a parenting plan.
Whether a parenting plan is negotiated between the parents or whether it is established by the court, the standard used in Florida is the "best interests of the child." There are a number of factors that will go into determining what the child's best interests are.
A previous post on this blog discussed the ways in which a child's custodial parent in Florida can relocate with the child. Relocation can either be done with the consent of the noncustodial parent, or can be done through an order of the court, if appropriate.