Child Custody Archives

Changes to Florida alimony law on the horizon

A bill that would dramatically change how and under what circumstances Florida courts could award alimony as part of a divorce decree is expected to pass both houses of the Florida legislature within the next few months. If signed by Gov. Rick Scott, the reform legislation would go into effect on Oct. 1. Similar reforms were proposed in 2013, but Gov. Scott vetoed that bill due to his concern that it would apply retroactively.

Parental relocation when child custody is involved

When there is a written court order granting responsibility, rights or custody of a child, simple things like parental relocation can quickly become legal issues in the state of Florida. Relocation is defined as the parent with primary rights to the child changing their main residence to another location more than 50 miles away for a period of at least 60 consecutive days.

Making parenting agreements

Florida couples with children who are divorcing may wish to try to reach an agreement about parenting before going to court. Although this is not always possible, sometimes parents are able to work with their attorneys to negotiate a parenting plan outside of court that they then submit to a judge.

Parenting plans in a Florida divorce

If you are currently going through a child custody dispute or a divorce involving children, one of the most important steps you will need to take is completing a parenting plan. Since the laws in Florida governing custody and visitation matters have recently been changed, it is important that you are familiar with these issues.

Procedure when parents miss visitation time

Custodial parents in Florida may wonder what happens if the non-custodial parent does not take the designated parenting time that they are assigned. This can be frustrating for the custodial parent, and as a result, they may return to court and try to get the visitation time modified. However, some experts point out that this may not be in the best interests of the child. Rather than taking steps to increase the separation even more, it is better if the custodial parent is able to work toward solutions that will keep the other parent involved in the child's life.

The interpretation of the best interests of the child

The laws of the state of Florida contain several relevant provisions to help the court make determinations as to what the best interests of the child may be in a custody or placement decision. The legislature has listed several factors that it feels most strongly influence the child's health, safety and development.

What is virtual visitation?

When a court rules on the matter of child custody, it could order that one of the parents is awarded virtual visitation. As its name suggests, virtual visitation involves the parent using technology to stay in touch with a child. This might include instant messaging, email or video calling. Florida is one of several states that have enacted laws to allow judges to order virtual visitation.

Advocating for Florida parents facing out-of-state moves

Once two Florida parents make the decision to divorce, their lives may take drastically different directions. A custodial parent may have a job or other opportunity that would require them to move to another state, leading them to consider moving away and taking their children. Florida residents have been leaving the state at higher rates than in previous years, often separating children of divorce from their non-custodial parents.

Procedure for relocating with a child

Florida parents interested in child custody issues may know there are times when relocation to another part of the state or to a different state may be necessary. Relocating requires that the noncustodial parent and every other person entitled to visitation with the child either agree to the move or have the opportunity to demonstrate to the court that the move is not beneficial for the child.

Child custody and parenting time in Florida

Florida courts generally favor that children have frequent contact with both parents through parenting time granted to each. Even if one parent has sole decision-making authority and the other parent has failed to make child support payments, the parent with primary custody cannot prevent the other parent from accessing his or her child through a parenting time order.

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