Florida Child Custody Attorney
Safeguarding Your Parental Rights in Ocala
Divorce is a complicated matter with many ups and downs. When children are involved, the proceedings can become extremely difficult for the parents and the kids. But make no mistake: representation from experienced legal counsel is paramount if your spouse is being uncooperative and not putting the well-being of the child above all else.
At Anne E. Raduns, P.A., we believe in an aggressive yet compassionate approach to our clients’ child custody issues. To speak with an experienced child custody attorney about your goals and concerns, call us at 352-310-8235 today.
How Child Custody Is Determined In Florida
In the state of Florida, if parents plan to divorce, the “petition for dissolution” needs to come with a “parenting plan,” which is a basic outline of how the parents plan to raise their child after they are divorced. This plan must be fully agreed upon by the child’s parents. In some cases, the agreement can be mediated by an attorney and submitted on behalf of the parents, or can be filled out by the courts in cases where it is necessary to intervene.
The parenting plan includes subjects such as:
- Health care
- Information sharing
- Foreign and out-of-state travel
- Day-to-day decisions
- Extracurricular activities
The goal of the parenting plan is to come to a peaceful, legal, and uncomplicated resolution that is in the best interest of the child. In addition, this document outlines each parent’s legal rights in terms of custody so that there are no complications in the future.
How to Prove a Parent Unfit
In child custody proceedings, the court may evaluate the fitness of a parent. Fitness describes the physical and mental capability of the parent in regards to taking care of the child. If a parent is suspected to be unfit, then there are certain factors that must be evaluated by the court before ruling on custody or visitation. These factors include:
Any history of domestic violence, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse
Any history of mental illness that would prevent the parent from taking care of the child
Any history of child abuse or neglect
Any history of the parent showing an unwillingness to be part of the child's life
If the court cannot make a determination based on those factors, they may retain the services of an evaluator to monitor the interactions of the parent and child.
Sole & Joint Custody
Joint custody of a child is the ideal outcome where both parents are caring for and involved in a child’s life. When it comes to joint custody it is important to outline the initial scheduling of a parent’s timesharing rights. Legally deciding the parent’s time of involvement with their child. This can come in the form of fully divided custody, where a child lives equally among each parent, or visitation and vacation rights.
One parent might have the majority of time with the child, but it is also important to keep in mind that both parents have rights unless otherwise stated. In cases of a majority, custody schedule for holidays and school breaks are crucial to outline so that there is no confusion between the parents. If a parent has majority custody, it is important to outline a schedule of visitation rights if need be.
Cases of sole custody are usually reserved for cases when a parent is neglectful or abusive, and all the rights are given to a single parent. One parent carries all the rights to decision making and visitation rights. If the other parent is granted visitation, the legal guardian must outline the supervision requirements during meetings, guidelines on exchanging the child, transportation to and from the exchange, and times when it is appropriate to communicate with the child. All custody rights are contingent on the agreed-upon plan presented when filing for dissolution.
- The difference between shared parental responsibility and joint custody
- How to create a holiday visitation schedule
Our office is based in Ocala and we represent clients throughout Central Florida. To discuss parental rights and obligations with an experienced child custody attorney, contact Anne E. Raduns, P.A., at 352-310-8235.
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Nearly 20 Years of Experience