How Long Does a Custody Battle in Florida Usually Last?

February 1, 2020

Few people anticipate ever needing a divorce, and this challenging situation becomes even more difficult when there are minor children involved. One of the most common questions our law firm is asked is how long a custody battle typically lasts. The answer, of course, is that it varies depending on several key factors: whether the parties agree on custody, how difficult it is to ascertain child support amounts and what is in the best interests of the child. To get a more accurate assessment of your particular case, you will need to call a reputable child custody lawyer in Miami, FL, but the following overview will give you an idea of the custody basics.

What is child custody?

You probably have an idea of what child custody entails, but you may not know the legal definition or the different types of arrangements child custody can encompass.

Parental responsability refers to the ability of a parent to make decisions on behalf of the child, including medical, educational, religious and other decisions, whereas time sharing refers to whom the child lives with. Both of these types of custody can be either joint or shared, so, for example, it’s possible to have shared decision-making power even with one parent retaining sole physical custody. In Florida, custody is referred to as “parental responsibility,” in an effort to highlight that a child is a responsibility, not a possession.

Judges will try to make custody decisions in the best interest of the child, which can include a number of different factors. Your judge may look at your physical and mental health, job security, religious and cultural considerations, where the child wants to live, the availability of extended family, any special needs your child may have and any sort of negative behavior on the part of the parent, such as substance abuse, emotional and physical abuse, excessive discipline and more.

How is child support determined?

The other key factor in a custody battle is child support: who pays it and how much? This can be determined by agreement, but if you’re locked in a contested divorce, you may not be able to easily come to a compromise.

Judges can award child support based on Florida statute, which takes into account each parent’s income, as well as who holds primary responsibilities for the child. These agreements and decrees can always be modified due to changes in circumstance (for example, an increase or decrease in income) or by agreement between the parties.

Meet with a child custody lawyer in Miami, FL

Since 1997, the Law Office of Granoff & Kessler has helped parents negotiate child custody cases with skilled representation and compassionate advice. When you need the best child custody lawyer in Miami, FL, take advantage of our combined six decades of experience. We will fight for you both in and out of court—call us today to schedule a consultation and get started resolving your custody case. We look forward to working with you soon.

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