Few things are as important in life as our children, when parents separate or divorce the effects can be devastating for the children caught in the middle of the arguments. At Myers and Eichelberger, our family law attorneys work to reduce the impact to children by encouraging settlement of parenting issues where possible and advocating quickly and efficiently for our clients if settlement fails.
Florida has removed the designations of primary and secondary custodial parents, in an effort to eliminate the stigma that one parent may be inferior to the other in their ability to care for their children. This has led the law to create a system where a parenting plan is established that helps the parents understand their respective rights and responsibilities for the care of their children. The parenting plan will become a legally enforceable document that the parents can rely on for stability in their interactions with each other and the children. The parenting plan will include a timesharing schedule which will outline the days and times the children will spend with each parent.
Because this may be the most sensitive and contentious area of a family law proceeding, it is critical to have a team of experienced family law attorneys working to ensure your rights to parenting and timesharing are protected during and after the lawsuit. At Myers & Eichelberger, we take the time to listen to our clients’ concerns and goals for their children.
- My spouse says that they are going to take our children and never let me see them again, can they do this?
It is the public policy of the State of Florida that each child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or divorce and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities and joys of child rearing.
- My child doesn’t want to see their father/mother; will the court make them spend time with them?
Because the state of Florida encourages each parent to share in the responsibilities and joys of child rearing, the court will consider many factors in determining a parenting plan if the parents cannot agree. Depending on the age of the child and other related factors, the court may consider the wishes of the child in crafting a parting plan and time sharing schedule.
- I don’t trust the father/mother of our children to care for them effectively when I’m not around, what can the court do about that?
Depending on the circumstances of each case, the court can order a parent to participate in counseling or family/parenting courses as a condition of spending time with the children.
- What happens if I want to move from where I live once we have a parenting plan and time sharing schedule, do I have to ask the court for permission?
Once there is a case filed to establish a parenting plan and timesharing schedule with the children, there are requirements for what must be done before a parent can move, depending on the distance from the previous home and the length of time of the move. Typically, if the parties can agree to the relocation of one parent, they can submit their agreement to the court with a proposed parenting plan for approval. If they cannot agree on a proposed relocation, the court will require both sides to present their case and make a decision considering the best interests of the children.