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Child Custody

Home > Child Custody

All about Guardian Ad Litem

Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) comes from Latin and, is defined by the online Legal Dictionary as “a unique type of guardian in a relationship that has been created by a court order only for the duration of a legal action. Courts appoint these special representatives for infants, minors, and mentally incompetent persons, all of whom generally need help protecting their rights in court.” Each state has their own guidelines for using GAL. This blog will use Florida as its example and will focus on the Family Law courts use of GAL for issues such as parental timesharing, developing parenting plans,...

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When is 50/50 Equal Timesharing Proper and When Is it not Proper?

As each state has its own laws regarding the care and nurturing of minor children following a separation or divorce of their biological or adoptive parents, this blog will focus on the state of Florida. For many years Florida, as in most states, awarded the custody of minor children to one or the other parent. Children lived with the parent having primary custody and the parent given secondary custody would receive visitation rights which may or may not have included overnights with their child. Decision making usually rested with the parent holding primary custody which often left out the other...

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How Long Does It Take to Get Child Support?

Unfortunately, there is no time frame allotted for getting child support. While the party desiring child support may feel it is an emergency, the legal system has its specified procedures which must be followed before adjudication for child support will be finalized by a judge. Taking a look at the procedures needed to obtain child support will help to show why there is no set time limit for obtaining a judgment. Too, each state has its own set of guidelines for obtaining child support and these can be found in the State Statutes. So, for this discussion, the state of...

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Domestication of a Foreign Order (Child Support, Alimony, etc) in Florida

The title, “Domestication of a Foreign Order”, implies the order needing domestication is from outside the United States. While this is true in some instances, the majority of orders in this category result from moving to another state outside the state where the order was adjudicated. We live in a mobile society. Many people move from place to place every few years or even more often. Jobs move employees, people marry and move with their spouse, or sometimes people just want a change in their environment or a place with better educational opportunities for their children. And, since every state has...

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Part Three: Ways To Help Children Cope With Life After a Divorce or Parent Separation

Having one’s parents separate whether from within a marriage or a living together arrangement can be, and often is, devastating for children of any age. It is particularly difficult for minor children or those with special needs who depend on parental support and care. In most states, there are guidelines and requirements for post judgment parenting. In Florida, for example, all couples must attend a state approved parenting class before a divorce or child support order can be adjudicated. Furthermore, in Florida, the motto “In the best interest of the child” is applied to decisions made regarding minor children as...

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Part Two, Parallel Parenting, What is it, and How Does it Compare to Co-Parenting?

As was pointed out in Part One of this three part discussion on parenting after a divorce or relational break-up, that many states, Florida in particular, are firm advocates of both parents taking equal responsibility in the continued raising and nurturing of their children, biological and/or adopted. The term “In the best interest of the child” is used to emphasize how important it is for both parents to put themselves in their children’s shoes and see how it feels and then provide the correct “fit”. Co-parenting, where both parents share equally in decision making regarding education, medical, religious, and disciplinary concerns...

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The Importance of Co-parenting – Part One

The definition of co-parenting as defined in the online Your Dictionary “is a process where two parents work together to raise a child even though they are divorced or separated and no longer live together. An example of co-parenting is when a divorced mother and father share legal and physical custody of a child.” Couples who have never married or even lived together but still share the birth or adoption of a child are also candidates for co-parenting. In fact, in the state of Florida where Family Law statutes use the phrase “In the best interest of the child” as...

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What Exactly Is The Best Interest of The Child Standard Defined and Meaning

For much of history, and indeed until the last forty or so years, the fate of a minor child, 18 being the age of emancipation, was totally in the hands of the parents or legal guardian. Minor children were “seen but not heard” and even in a courtroom setting decisions were made for them as to what was most convenient and in the best interests of the caregiving adults. Not so anymore. In fact, in many states, Florida being one of these, the standard for legal decisions involving minor children is “The Best Interest of the Child”. How is this...

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The UCCJEA

What it means, what it’s for, and how it can protect your family. What it means: The letters UCCJEA stand for Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. In 1997, due to frequent misuse of parents trying to avoid custody determinations by moving from state to state or even leaving the country, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws put together the UCCJEA to help prevent parents from using unlawful conduct in child custody disputes. The UCCJEA sets forth a set of rules and procedures for interstate and international custody battles. Each state has a section of their state...

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