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.
Fathers in Florida play an important role in their child's life. When a child knows who his or her father is, that child benefits greatly. The child will have a greater understanding of his or her medical history, will possibly have access to health insurance through his or her father and most importantly, when a child's father plays an active role in the child's life, it provides the child with love, stability and emotional and financial support.
When most people think of child custody issues, they typically think of one of two situations. The first occurs when a married couple decides to divorce and, as part of the marriage dissolution process, they have to decide how to resolve child custody and visitation issues. The second situation arises when an unmarried couple must figure out how to settle the same matters. Here, a couple may have to deal with paternity issues, as well as concerns about what kind of arrangement furthers the best interests of the child, which are similar to divorce child custody matters.
When couples make the difficult decision to divorce, one of the first concerns they may have is which parent will receive custody of the children. Child custody concerns are reasonable and understandable concerns the family law system helps parents resolve when they have decided to end their marriage. Parents can agree to a child custody agreement, and are encouraged to do so, but if they are unable to agree, the family law court will make a child custody determination.
Moving is a part of life. With mobility enjoyed by many in today's world, new opportunities emerge, both for individuals' personal and professional lives. Generally speaking, moving is only challenging on a financial and emotional front. Especially when an individual has lived in one place for a significant period of time. Yet, when relocation involves a child of divorced parents, then the matter can evolve into a legal battle.
As we discussed previously on this blog, child custody and visitation determinations are made based on what supports the best interests of the child in question. This best interests standard can be comprised of many components, which leaves it ripe for legal argument. For example, considerations regarding which parent is better suited to support a child's educational and developmental needs, as well as which parent can sustain a nurturing relationship with the child, are relatively subjective. This means that those Floridians who find themselves amidst a child custody dispute need to ensure that they are crafting compelling legal arguments that support their side of the argument.
Child custody can be a highly-charged topic during divorce and grow contentious as intense emotions may be involved in the process. As a result, it can be helpful for parents and families to understand how the family law process in Florida works and defines child custody which can help parents know what to expect and arrive at a child custody arrangement and outcome that is in the best interests of the child and benefits the family.