How Does Custody Work in Florida Divorces?

Back to Divorce and Family Law Videos

Back to Divorce and Family Law Videos

Video Script Below

"How does custody work in a divorce in Florida? I’m Steve Kramer. I’m a Florida family law and divorce attorney. And today we’re going to talk about custody in the state of Florida. And the question is: what is custody in the state of Florida? And the answer is it doesn’t exist. The state legislature recently amended the laws and eliminated the term “custody.” It doesn’t exist anymore. Instead we have “time sharing.”

What does time sharing mean? Well, basically what happens in a divorce, you and your spouse will put together a parenting plan. And if you don’t put it together, the court will put it together. But there will be a parenting plan. And that parenting plan will govern exactly how you spend time with your children. And that may be every other weekend, every weekend, half the week with Mom, half the week with Dad, whatever. It will govern that. It will govern how you as parents deal with school, medical issues - anything that can potentially come up as a parent is going to be addressed by that parenting plan. And these parenting plans can be detailed; they can be 30 pages thick and govern everything from top to bottom. Or, if you and your spouse are able to get along a little bit better and don’t have to have everything worked out to the letter, then you can have a more broad parenting plan that works for you.

The bottom line is as long as you’re making decisions you can control the parenting plan. And if the courts come in then they will implement their own parenting plan, which they believe is in the best interest of the child. Now since the law was amended the presumption is that time sharing with the children is 50/50. And that means 50% of the time with Mom, 50% of the time with Dad. Now in the past, the presumption was not 50/50. And usually what would happen is Dad or Mom would have every other weekend and then some time in the middle of the week. Now that’s what it was in the past. Now there’s this 50/50 presumption and this is with the intention that the child should have contact with both Mom and Dad and that contact should be as equal as possible for the child’s benefit, because children need Mom and Dad. And anybody that’s looked at a divorce, has a family, knows that children need contact with the parents. Now if there’s some special circumstance where maybe your spouse is abusive or there’s a drug addiction or an alcoholism issue or maybe there’s just some issue that you believe is important, then of course we can attack that. We can attack the custody arrangements, the time sharing arrangements, and address that specifically.

That’s why it’s important to sit down with a skilled family law and divorce attorney. We deal with this stuff all the time. We’ve seen every type of family case you can imagine and we deal with these issues. So if you have any questions regarding your individual situation, give me a call. I deal with this stuff all the time.

I’m Steve Kramer. Thanks for watching. "

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