A child is the apple of her parent's eye. But when parents fail to see eye-to-eye during a divorce, separation or break-up, the child may suffer as parents become embroiled in a bitter child custody battle.
In a divorce, separation or split-up with children, the custodial parent is entitled to child support from the non-custodial parent. Child support guidelines vary from state to state. Despite the law and guidelines, non-payment or underpayment of child support is on the rise. The Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement estimated that nationwide more than $100 billion is owed to custodial parents and recent U.S. Census Bureau data reports that only 40 percent of custodial parents actually receive all the child support monies they are due.
In a family law case, the first visual that comes to mind is parents, typically the father and mother, of a child, or children, fighting over child custody and parenting time issues. But, what about child custody issues between a gay or lesbian couple who have developed irreconcilable issues?
It is not unusual for unmarried parents to deal with similar issues that a divorced couple with children might such as child support, visitation and custody. In Florida, before a man is afforded the rights and responsibilities of being a father, paternity must be established. In essence, he must be recognized as the legal father of the child before he gets his father's rights such as child visitation.
Divorce with children is never easy. Long contentious and bitter battles between parents for child custody can go on for years after a divorce.
Katie Holmes may be preparing for an interesting day in court. The actress, who recently filed for divorce from Tom Cruise after 5 years of marriage, is reportedly seeking sole legal child custody of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri, in addition to primary residential custody.
When it comes to military divorces in Florida, there may be a few extra rules regarding the division of military pensions, residency requirements for filing for divorce, and certain legal protections for the military member. Yet when it comes to child custody, the best interest of the child is the prime standard in almost all Florida divorce cases, civilian or military, based on factors set by state law.
Although family law courts in Florida may endeavor to create a child custody and visitation schedule that comes closest to maintaining the positive aspects of the child's former lifestyle with both parents, the sad truth is that, after the divorce, the child will never again be able to spend as much time with both parents together.