Over the past decade, Florida law has changed its focus drastically regarding how issues involving children should be decided in divorce proceedings. In the past, the main task of the judge in a divorce case was to make decisions about how to divide control over the children between parents.
Today there is a much stronger focus on encouraging parents to work out the details regarding their children’s care as they stay focused on the children’s best interests.
About custody and support: Terms such as child custody and visitation have been replaced, and you will now hear the phrases “time sharing” and “parenting plans” used to identify issues in divorce cases. If you are entering into a divorce with children involved, it is important to work with a lawyer who understands the legal nuances and the appropriate approaches to time sharing and parenting plans in Florida.
Other crucial child-related matters include child support and agreed-upon ways of communication between divorced parents. Plantation child custody attorney Kelley A. Joseph can help you with all aspects of parenting plans and time sharing, including parent-to-parent communication terms. She can also help you understand how child support is determined, and how to enforce it or seek a modification.
About guardian ad litem: “I have been appointed by the courts in Florida as a guardian ad litem on numerous occasions. I also have a child who is on the autism spectrum. When my clients come to me for help with parenting plans, I understand the complicated issues they are facing, and I help them find solutions that work.” – Plantation attorney Kelley A. Joseph
In the current system, parents will meet with their attorneys present and work out a parenting plan agreement. Most of the time, both parties at least make a good-faith effort to work amicably, but in some cases, one or both of the parties will not work with the other side, and the only option is to litigate the issue. The Law Offices of Kelley A. Joseph, P.A., negotiates the parenting plan whenever possible, and when negotiation is not a viable option, attorney Joseph will litigate on behalf of her clients.
A comprehensive view of the best interests of the child: Whether the parenting plan is agreed upon by both parents or decided by the court through litigation, the court makes the final judgment call as to whether or not the arrangement is in the best interests of the child. To determine the best interests of the child, the court will consider all relevant factors, including geography, the relationships involved, the stability of the home, the preferences of the child involved and whether there has been a history of domestic violence.
About paternity: Fathers who are unmarried may need to take an additional test before they can petition for custody of a child. If they have not yet been legally recognized as the father of the child, they will need to establish paternity. A mother may also initiate this process when seeking child support and/or government assistance.
To schedule a consultation and to learn more about how attorney Kelley A. Joseph can help protect your interests in a child custody case, contact our Plantation family law firm or call our office at 954-376-4826. We represent clients in Plantation, Fort Lauderdale and throughout South Florida.