At Adams & Luka, our family law attorneys provide vigorous legal guidance and support in all areas of family law, including divorce, marital agreement settlements, and issues involving minor children. Some issues may include child support and custody, visitation, paternity, relocation of children, child abduction and enforcement, and developing a timesharing or parenting plan. We understand how difficult, stressful, and emotional a divorce can be, particularly when minor children are involved. Our goal is to address any and all of our clients' issues in a way that is compassionate, effective, and resolves the issue in the quickest manner possible.Common Minor Involved Issues After a Florida Divorce
Custody. In the old days, most people believed that the mother would be automatically awarded custody of the children, and for the most part, it was true. Today, the court does not presume that the mother will automatically be granted custody of the children over the children’s biological father. In determining which parent the child should live with, the courts will apply a “best interest” test. This simply means the court will determine what situation, whether that involves which parent has primary custody or how much time the child spends with the non-custodial parent, is in the child’s best interest without compromising their development or emotional wellbeing. When custody matters become especially contentious, psychologists or other experts may be brought in to evaluate all the involved parties to help the court decide what circumstance is in the best interest of the child.
After the primary custodial parent has been determined, Florida follows the Shared Parental Responsibility method when looking at the child’s ongoing care. While a child may live with one of their parents most of the time, both parents have equal say regarding issues such as religion, health, education, discipline, and other related areas. When ex-spouses cannot come to an agreement on the issues, a judge will do it for you.
Child Support is a quite common issue in divorce. The amount of child support a spouse will be ordered to pay is dependent on several factors, including the incomes of both parties and how much time the child spends with each parent. While issues certainly arise during this determination process, parents are normally most concerned when the other party fails to pay child support in a timely manner or not at all. Failing to make these payments can result in a garnishment of your bank account or an income withholding order on your paycheck to enforce the court ordered payment schedule. An income withholding order makes an employer deduct a certain amount from the paying spouse’s salary before their paycheck is issued, while a garnishment of the bank account allows the court to remove funds directly to pay owed child support. If the court deems it appropriate, the delinquent spouse could also be jailed for being in contempt of court because of non-payment.
Relocation of One Parent. The court is not concerned with moves within the same town or within a short distance of the child’s other parent. When long distance moves are involved, the court must be made aware. Permission must be granted when a party wants to move more than fifty miles from the other party for more than sixty days. Relocation without the court’s permission may subject the party to contempt or an order to return the child. The court will look at several factors to determine whether a request for either temporary or permanent relocation should be granted – always considering what is in the best interest of the children involved. If the relocation is granted, the court can order contact with the non-relocating parent, through physical visits, telephone calls, or another method to ensure frequent contact with the non-relocating parent.
Visitation is another issue that can result in feuding, bitterness, and resentment. In most situations, children will live with one parent during the weekdays, then stay at the other parent's home on the weekends. If parents are unable to make a timesharing plan on their own, the court may intervene to establish a plan. The court always examines all factors, such as schooling and the child's emotional wellbeing, and therefore will determine visitation or timesharing based on the best interest of the child or children involved.Orange County Family Law Attorneys Working on Your Behalf
There are other issues that may arise when parents’ divorce. While infrequent, there are cases where one parent abducts the child/children, or payment of child support must be enforced. There are also issues of paternity in some situations, or one parent may be forced to relocate due to his or her career. Sometimes an ex-spouse remarries and moves to another state. How do you handle these types of problems? Whether you are facing issues regarding which parent your children will live with, visitation, developing a parenting plan, or getting the child support your children deserve, our divorce lawyers are here to provide you with solid, effective legal guidance. We invite residents throughout Central Florida to contact us now at 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084.