Except for the situation when a parent or legal guardian is given sole custody of a minor child or children, the term child custody is no longer used in the legal sense in the state of Florida. Since 2008 when Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes, (which spells out the legal guidelines for divorce/dissolution of marriage in the state), was greatly modified, the term parental timesharing has replaced the terms custody and visitation. This has made it easier to formulate what is called a Parenting Plan which includes how much time each parent will spend with their child/children and how much decision making and parental responsibility each parent will be expected to provide.
Rather than refer to the parent with which a child spends the most time as being the “primary residential parent” the updated guidelines count the number of overnights a child spends with each parent when determining such issues as child support, decision making, and areas of responsibility. It is important to remember an over-night is just that. Even if you spend an entire day, say from 6AM to 10PM, with your child it will not be counted as an overnight. There are a number of additional considerations, which the court takes into account when dealing with timesharing. To find out more about Parental Timesharing Click Here.
As noted above, the term “custody” is still used when referring to a situation where one parent or legal guardian has compete care of a child or children and the term solo custody is used. The solo custodian will be awarded both legal and physical care. Legal custody allows medical, educational, religious, and disciplinary decisions to be made. Physical custody determines deciding the place of residence. For sole custody to occur the other parent or parents must be adjudicated unfit or unable to provide care of any kind. The law in Florida regarding care and nurturing of children is very specific to state and enforce the concept that decisions are to be made, at all times, in the best interest of the child. Visitation is controlled, if allowed at all, and frequently will have to be supervised by an appointed person or agency and usually must take place at a court specified location for a specific period of time.
Be sure to find an attorney with expertise in understanding and working on cases where minor children, and children with special needs beyond l8 years of age are involved. Parents do not have to be married to have child custody or parental timeshare issues which need legal counsel and help to resolve. Ask questions to be sure the attorney knows how to gather proof that sole custody is necessary. Attorney Gisondo, practicing in West Palm Beach has the qualifications you need if you reside in Palm Beach, Martin, Port St. Lucie, Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, or Hillsborough counties. Call his office, (561) 530-4568, to make an appointment for a free, initial, in-office consultation. He will personally meet with you and share how he can work with you through the process of obtaining solo custody.