Child Custody/Timesharing Attorneys in Melbourne, FL

Create a Parenting Plan that is in the best interest of the child with help from our Law Firm in Melbourne

Custody And Visitation Issues Handled By Murphy & Downs Law Office

It is important for divorcing couples with young children to create a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interest. Families are not the same, so neither should parents’ parenting plans. Parents should protect the well-being of their sons and daughters. 

Even if other issues are highly contested, parents should try to resolve the problems of timesharing by agreement. It will help ensure that the child’s best interests are taken into account.

When parents can successfully work together to create a parenting plan, it can provide stability and security for the child. It can also help reduce conflict between the parents, which can benefit the child. 

If you are a divorcing parent in Melbourne, Florida, it is essential to have an experienced family law attorney on your side who can help you create a parenting plan that is in the best interest of your child.

Attorney Helping you Understand Parenting Plans

It is in the child’s best interest for parents to create a parenting plan that suits their daily needs and responsibilities. The parenting plan should include a timesharing schedule, specifying when the child will spend time with each parent. 

Under Florida law, parents tend to share parental responsibility for their children unless shared responsibility would be detrimental to the child. It means that the parents must have a relationship that allows them to confer and discuss issues that affect the child’s welfare, including health care, school-related matters, and access to school and health records. 

They may do this in a Mediation Agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement, as they know their child’s needs and want to create a stable and healthy environment for the family.

Other essential aspects of the plan may include which parent is responsible for healthcare and school-related activities and communication methods between the child and parents. A program provides stability and understanding for both the parents and the child.

Parenting Orders: What The Court Considers

Let’s examine the factors a court will consider when making a parenting order.

The first parenting factor the court will consider is parental fitness. The court must decide whether each parent is a suitable carer for the child. In making this decision, the court will look at things like:

  • the criminal history of each parent;
  • each parent’s drug and alcohol use;
  • each parent’s mental health;
  • each parent’s work commitments;
  • each parent’s ability to provide a stable home life for the child
  • history of domestic violence or child abuse.

Deciding Children's Best Interests

The court will consider several important factors when making decisions about parenting plans, with the overriding priority being the protection of children from physical or psychological harm.

Other important considerations include the benefits to children of having a meaningful relationship with both parents, what the children think and understand, and the practicality of arrangements.

The court will also consider the attitudes of each parent towards their responsibilities as a parent and any history of family violence. Ultimately, the court will make decisions in the child’s best interests, minimizing the risk of further court proceedings.

Responsibilities Shared Equally

Parents have duties and responsibilities for their children, which include making decisions about their medical care, religious upbringing, and cultural education. Equal shared parental responsibility means that both parents share these primary long-term decision-making responsibilities. 

It differs from equal parenting time or shared care, which refers to day-to-day decisions such as what the children eat or wear. If the court finds that both parents share parental responsibility, the parents must try to agree with the significant long-term decisions affecting the children. 

Equal shared responsibility is not presumed if there has been child abuse or violence committed by a parent or a household member (including abuse of any child within these families). 

In these cases, the court will consider other evidence to determine if equal shared responsibility is in the children’s best interests.

Considering Children's Views

If a child has sufficient maturity and intelligence to have a preference, the court will consider it. However, the child’s decision will not necessarily determine the outcome. The child’s best interests are always paramount in any decision made by the court.

Abuse Or Violence Allegations

When there is family violence or child abuse, a family dispute resolution practitioner may decide that you do not need to go to family dispute mediation before applying for a parenting order. 

It includes where the other person’s threats make it difficult for you to participate equally in the dispute resolution process. You can also create an application directly to the court without getting a certificate from a family dispute resolution practitioner. 

However, the court must be satisfied that there is family violence, child abuse, or a risk of one or both of these.

Parenting Time

If both parents share equal responsibility for their children, the court must decide if it is practical and in the child’s best interest to spend equal time with each parent. 

It includes time spent on weekdays, weekends, holidays, and other significant days such as birthdays or school concerts. Each parent must also be meaningfully involved in the child’s daily routine.

The court will decide what is practical based on what the family’s circumstances are. It includes each parent’s availability, the child’s needs, and where they live. 

If one parent lives a long way from the other or works irregular hours, it might not be practical for them to spend equal time with the children. So the court will decide what is in the child’s best interests and make a reasonable order.

Child Custody Modifications Executed By Skilled Counselor

If your employment, family health, or finances have changed since you last made a parenting arrangement, you may need to adjust the time you spend with your child and the amount of child support you pay. 

A law firm can help you submit a petition to the court to approve these changes. It is important to remember that even if you are on good terms with your former spouse, you cannot make these changes without court approval. 

Getting started on the legal process as soon as possible helps ensure your petition is processed promptly.

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