The most important factor to address when a marriage (with children) is being dissolved is child custody. The word “custody” is no longer used in courtrooms. It has been replaced by the term “parenting plan”. This term is used to describe the plan that will be used concerning the child’s (or children’s) life. The plan includes: daily tasks, school functions, healthcare, extracurricular activities and even communication with the children.
This model went into effect in Florida back in 2009. The overall goal was to decide what was best for the children and not pay an overly amount of attention to the need of the individual parent. The law also recognizes a right to both parents to be able to spend equal time with the children. Due to work constraints or distance the child may have to spend a majority of their time with one parent and not the other. The court will calculate child support accordingly.
Florida Statute 61.13(2)(c)(1) provides that it is the public policy of the state of Florida for children under the age of 18 to have “frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved.” See more about this statute here
There are a myriad of other factors that go into play when considering where the child will spend their time. Among those factors are: moral and mental health of each parent, ability of each parent to maintain a stable household, routine for the child, and likelihood of parent not to interfere with the contact and access rights of the other parent.
When going through a divorce that involves children, it is very important to have competent legal counsel. If the process is not planned properly, there can be much confusion. It is important to have experienced legal counsel regarding these matters.