Child Custody

Child Custody2023-06-09T09:44:25-05:00

Child Custody Lawyer | Get Your Chance to Raise & Spend Time with Your Child

Child custody lawyers, like Cheryl Fletcher, are sometimes involved in bitter battles between parents who believe that they are doing the right thing for their child. Some of these disputes arise during the divorce process. Other times, it starts with a paternity case between two unmarried people. How the case starts has little bearing on the outcome. What really matters is how well you can prove to a judge that you are a fit and proper parent and it is in the “best interests of the child” for the court to grant your request for custody.

An aggressive child custody lawyer can make a big difference in whether you win this type of case. Trying to do it yourself in court is a recipe for disaster because the court will expect you to know the law and be able to present evidence on all the factors that the judge will use to decide your case. It’s almost impossible to win when you’re not familiar with the rules.

We Will Help You Understand the Child Custody Process

Courts do not know much about your family but will make big decisions about how much time you can spend with your child and what types of activities you can do together. This can hurt deeply, especially since the judge will not be explaining to you what is happening. Attorney Fletcher will take the time to explain Florida’s child custody law, answer all your questions and work with you on a strategy to help you stay in your child’s life. When you go to court with Mrs. Fletcher, you will have a good understanding of the process and be able to present your case well.

Factors that the Court will use to Decide Your Child Custody Case

Florida gives family law judges a lot of discretion in deciding how to grant custody to two competing parents. The judge has to decide the case by looking at what is in the “best interests of child.” The judge then uses a “factor” test that is set out in Florida Statutes section 61.13(3). The list of factors is quite long but it includes:

  • Whether each parent can honor a parenting plan;
  • How parental responsibilities are divided between the two parents;
  • Whether a parent can act on the child’s own needs rather than his/her own;
  • The stability of the child’s current situation and whether this arrangement should continue;
  • How far away from each other the parents live;
  • The moral fitness and mental and physical health of each parent;
  • The child’s home, school, and community record; and
  • The child’s wishes;

Putting together a solid case to prove these factors is not impossible, but it can be a challenge. With the right legal help, you can overcome this challenge. Child Custody Attorney, Cheryl Fletcher, has been fighting for mothers and fathers rights throughout Palm Beach county. Speak with her at: 561-507-5772.

Child Custody FAQs

If My Divorce Goes to Court, How Will the Judge Decide Who Gets Custody?2020-07-11T13:51:28-05:00

Florida law no longer uses the term “custody” and there is also no “primary” or “secondary” parent designation. These terms have been replaced with “time-sharing.” A parent may have majority time-sharing or there can be a 50/50 time-sharing split, where both parents have equal time-sharing. The court will make a time-sharing schedule based on what is in the “best interests of the child.” The judge will rely on the factors stated in Florida Statutes 61.13 to make this determination.

Can the Father Get Custody?2020-07-11T13:48:09-05:00

A father can become the parent with majority-time sharing. The mother does not have any superior time-sharing rights.

Do Grandparents Have a Legal Right to Visitation With Their Grandchildren?2020-07-11T13:47:13-05:00

No. Parents have a right to privacy and this includes how they raise their children. However, parents may voluntarily agree to visitation by grandparents. Any attempt to compel visitation with a grandparent is unconstitutional, except in certain limited circumstances, such as where the child is removed from the parent(s) physical custody or if both parents are deceased.

How Do I Change a Custody Agreement?2020-08-08T02:21:05-05:00

You can file a Petition for Modification of the Parenting Plan with the court. In order to have any chance of success, you will have to prove that there has been a material, substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances, from the date the parenting plan was court-ordered and that modification is in the best interests of the child.
Custody orders may also be changed if one party relocates or if the child has different needs.

Who Pays Attorney’s Fees in a Child Custody Case?2020-08-17T03:10:48-05:00

Generally, each party bears their own costs and attorney’s fees. In a divorce case, one party may get the other spouse to pay his/her attorney’s fees. Also, if there is vexatious litigation, you can get fees from the other parent.

Can a Parent Refuse to Allow Visitation if Child Support is Owed?2020-08-17T03:11:11-05:00

No. A parent should not withhold time-sharing because of missed child support payments. Courts frown upon this type of behavior and a parent could find himself/herself in contempt if he/she refuses to follow the court-ordered timesharing schedule.

When Can a Child Decide Which Parent to Live With?2020-07-11T13:43:52-05:00

There is no particular age when a child can decide which parent he/she wants to live with. The court will look at the “reasonable preference of the child” and if the child has “sufficient intelligence, understanding and experience to express a preference.” It is rare for the court to allow the child to testify, but if it does, it will be through an “in camera” examination where only the judge, the child and a court reporter are present. Attorneys, family members and the parents are not allowed.

What if We Cannot Agree on a Custody Arrangement?2020-07-11T13:43:15-05:00

If you cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will make the decision for you based on what is in the “best interest of the child.” The factors regarding this standard are laid out in Florida Statutes section 61.13.

What if My Spouse Tries to Move Away With the Kids?2020-07-11T13:42:32-05:00

It depends on how far he/she is moving and whether there is a pending Paternity or Dissolution of Marriage case in court. You must act quickly in a situation like this as Florida loses jurisdiction after the children have been gone out-of-state for at least 6 months, if there was no prior court order retaining jurisdiction.

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