When you and your child’s other parent don’t live together and/or don’t get along well, having a formal child custody agreement in place ensures that both parents are able to play an active role in the child’s life. If you are involved in a child custody case, contact a qualified, experienced attorney like Kelley A. Joseph for guidance and representation.
About Child Custody in Florida
The state of Florida determines child custody arrangements based on the best interests of the children involved in the case. Some of the factors the court considers in these cases include:
- The parents’ communication and co-parenting skills.
- The child’s health and safety.
- The child’s developmental and emotional needs.
- The child’s preferences, depending on his or her age and maturity.
Florida recognizes two different types of custody: legal custody and physical custody. While legal custody determines who can make decisions on behalf of the child, physical custody determines the child’s primary residence. Florida favors joint legal custody unless one parent can show that this option would not be in the child’s best interests.
When one parent is awarded physical custody of a child, the other parent will typically have visitation rights. Visitation will occur based on a court-approved schedule. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will also be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. Keep in mind that biological fathers whose relationship with a child has not already been established under Florida law may need to prove their paternity before they can petition for custody or visitation rights.
Hiring an Attorney
Child custody cases can be complicated and filled with emotion. To ensure that your rights are protected and that your interests are accurately represented in court, you need a trustworthy attorney who understands Florida child custody law. Kelley A. Joseph has more than 20 years of experience representing clients in child custody cases, and she can help you make sure that your case is as strong as possible.
Kelley A. Joseph can help with new child custody cases, as well as petitions to modify an existing child custody arrangement.