For any parent undergoing a divorce or a breakup, the question of child custody and support can be incredibly stressful. Your first priority is to care for your children and to protect your parental rights. Understanding the law with regard to these issues will help you make good decisions about how to handle your child custody and support case.
At Norris Law in Tallahassee, we are here to provide guidance and fight for your rights. Our lawyer can work to settle child custody issues out of court, but, if needed, will be your strongest advocate offering aggressive litigation at trial.
Determining Factors For Child Custody
Florida law provides some standards for deciding child custody, which is divided into two separate types: physical custody (time actually spent with the child) and legal custody (the ability to make decisions about a child’s upbringing). Joint legal and physical custody are preferred, except in cases where one parent is unfit.
In determining child custody, a court may look at the following factors:
- Where the child has lived and gone to school
- The love, affection and existing connection between the child and each parent
- The parents’ mental, physical and moral status
- The permanence of each proposed home
- Any history of domestic violence
- Whether each parent will cooperate and encourage contact with the other parent
- The involvement of each parent with the child’s life
- The ability of each parent to meet the child’s financial, emotional and developmental needs
While a court will consider a variety of issues, the primary concern is the best interests of the child or children. When custody is shared, a parenting plan is used to set a schedule for how the parents will arrange physical custody. A child visitation schedule, if applicable, may also be determined.
Aggressively Pursuing Fair Child Support
Child support is also determined by the court, based on Florida child support guidelines. The court takes a number of factors into account, including each parent’s income and the amount of time that each parent spends with the child. If one parent pays for specific items, such as day care or health insurance, that may be deducted from the overall support obligation.
We take child custody seriously. If you are facing a child support or custody case, Norris Law is here for you. Every decision relating to your child is of utmost importance. Let our vast experience in family law boldly defend your parental rights. Attorney Toby Norris has in-depth knowledge on how courts decide child custody and child support issues. He can advise you on the merits of your case, and will zealously defend your parental rights in court if necessary.