Although it can happen, it’s not often that following a divorce the court will award sole custody of a child to just one parent. Instead, Florida law generally recognizes that children of divorce benefit from having both parents involved in their life. In Florida, joint legal custody is favored, unless it can prove detrimental to the child.
Parents are required to have a written parenting plan that must be court approved. It must include, among other things, how daily parenting tasks will be shared, a time-sharing schedule, how parents will communicate with their child, who is responsible for matters relating to school and health care, a designated address for school registration and other activities.
As with time-sharing, unless there is evidence of abuse, abandonment, neglect, or a judge is concerned about the physical or mental health of a parent, both parents generally are awarded shared custody.
Judges look favorably on the parents’ ability to put the child first and favor those arrangements that will provide consistency in a child’s life. The courts also put a lot of weight on the parents’ ability to encourage a positive relationship with their ex-spouse.
In Florida, the parent who has primary custody, and who wants to move more than 50 miles away must notify the other parent first. If the noncustodial parent agrees to the move, then both parents must file a written agreement with the court along with a modification of the visitation schedule. The court may also require anyone else with visitation rights, i.e. grandparents or other relatives must approve the move as well. Even if everyone is in agreement, the court must approve the proposal before the custodial parent can move.
If they can’t agree, a judge will decide whether to allow the move. If the judge believes the move will have a negative impact on the child or their relationship with the other parent, then he or she may not approve the move.
Too often children are used as pawns in their parents’ divorce. Those parents who decide to make a move to get back at another parent will not be viewed in a positive light by the court.
It’s best to consult with a qualified family law attorney to discuss your options. If you are interested in a consultation or have questions do not hesitate to contact Sustainable Family Solutions. Simply click here and send us a message and we will get right back to you.