When couples with children divorce or separate a determination must be made regarding parental responsibility and time-sharing (whether parties were married or not). In Florida the standard is "shared parental responsibility," which means both parents have decision-making power. The Court considers many factors in determining the appropriate "parenting plan" for the child(ren), including, but not limited to: who is more likely to allow access to the children and foster a relationship between the children and the other parent, and who can provide the children with the most stability. People often assume the child decides which parent they will live with once they reach a certain age; however, in Florida the Court considers many factors, only one is the preference of the child, and only when they are of sufficient age and maturity.
Deciding how to proceed regarding child custody issues is a complicated decisions with many potential repercussions, call us at (904) 829-3035 to discuss your case.