When parents divorce, they face tough questions regarding where their children will live and who will provide care. At the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A., our attorneys provide clients in the Clearwater and Palm Harbor areas with the adept legal counsel necessary to manage these difficult and emotional circumstances. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.
Florida statutes do not use the term "child custody." Instead, the law refers to "parental responsibility." It presumes that both parents should share decision-making and caregiving responsibilities unless this arrangement would be detrimental to the child. Sole parental responsibility is only awarded if the court believes the other parent poses a threat to the family.
The right to make major decisions about a child's well-being was once known as "legal custody." Florida child custody law refers specifically to the sharing of parental responsibility for education and child care. The court will also address other issues that may be relevant to your family's situation, such as religious upbringing and discipline. Instead of "visitation," Florida family law uses the term "time-sharing," so as not to imply that the noncustodial parent is only a visitor rather than family. A temporary determination of parental responsibility, including time-sharing, may be made while the divorce proceedings are still ongoing.
Florida courts expect divorcing parents to create a parenting plan that includes a time-sharing schedule and explains how they will meet the needs of their minor child.
If the parents cannot come to an agreement-or if a judge determines the schedule they establish does not meet state guidelines-the court can dictate the schedule. Even if one parent is given sole parental responsibility, the other parent is usually still eligible for frequent, meaningful visitation under a time-sharing agreement. Under certain circumstances, grandparents may also be eligible for visitation. Learn more about grandparent visitation rights.
Contact a board-certified Clearwater divorce attorney to address your child custody concerns. Our team has been serving Florida families for almost 25 years. We understand that child custody is often the most emotionally charged issue in a divorce. You need to choose a capable Florida attorney to assert your parental rights!
For skilled legal representation, call the Law Offices of K. Dean Kantaras, P.A. at (727) 939-6113 today.