Child custody agreements are typically offshoots of a divorce case. Where children are involved, the court has to determine which parent will take primary physical custody of the child.
A common child custody agreement would usually involve visitation rights and child support obligations. Ideally, the divorcing parents would come to an agreement to settle these issues for the sake of the child or children involved. Otherwise, it could go to mediation. If that still does not work, then the court could render a judgment to have something in place that would be in the best interest of the child.
Florida Child Custody Laws
In Florida, the laws do not necessarily have a preference as to which parent would have physical custody of the child. While others would typically assume that the mother would have an edge, what matters more for the court is the best interest of the child.
The judge would look at the facts and circumstances of the divorce. Questions such as which parent has the stronger emotional bond with the child, which parent has more financial capacity to support the child, which household could better provide security and stability for the child are among the issues that would have to be addressed during a custody hearing.
Once these are settled, then making arrangements becomes the next step.
Common Child Custody Arrangements
Time-sharing is one of the more common aspects of child custody. Both parents will have the opportunity to spend some quality time with the child. The court believes that it is crucial for the child to have access to both parents, even though they may be physically separated, especially during their formative years.
There’s no one method to implement time-sharing for parents across the board; it will have to be customized to each unique case. At its most basic, however, the parents can agree on a weekly exchange.
This set-up can be very beneficial and convenient, not only for the parents but also for the children. There’s minimal disruption in their schedule, and it’s easier for them to establish routines, albeit in two separate households.
Extending this weekly set-up to two weeks at a time can be even more helpful because more time is spent in each household. Not only does this mean more bonding opportunities for the parent in custody and the child, but also, the other parent could better manage their schedule, doing the work that needs more focus during the time that the kids are not with them.
There are plenty more other variations in the time-sharing schedule, all of which would depend on how well the co-parenting relationship of the parents are. It could, of course, be much harder if one of the parents moves to a farther location, or even out of state.
In the meantime, those asking, “When should I use a child custody lawyer?” should know that the start of the divorce is already a good time to start seeking counsel from one. This matter will be central to the entire proceeding, so it’s best to have your case ready from the start.
Categorized in: Child Custody