Are you going through an emotionally painful divorce? If so, then you should prepare yourself for a tense legal battle. You and your spouse may fight over many issues. This could include the creation of a child custody arrangement. A divorce lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida can help you navigate this difficult time. He or she can tell you whether obtaining sole parental responsibility in Florida is a realistic goal.
Sole Custody in Florida No Longer Exists
Unfortunately, sole custody in Florida no longer exists. Florida family courts have not awarded a spouse sole custody since 2008. In most cases, you cannot prevent your spouse from maintaining a relationship with his or her child. However, you can limit the amount of responsibility and time sharing your spouse receives. A divorce attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida can help you pursue this outcome during your child custody hearing.
Shared Parental Responsibility Is Used Instead
In a Florida child custody case, the courts view you and your spouse as “co-parents” of your child. During a typical divorce, Florida family courts will award both parents shared parental responsibility. Shared parental responsibility involves two separate but linked issues.
- Time sharing
- Parental responsibility
Essentially, time sharing is the time you spend with your child. Parental responsibility involves making decisions on behalf of your child. This can include where he or she goes to school and what medication he or she takes. The courts generally give both parents shared parental responsibility. However, there are exceptions where one parent receives more time sharing and/or parental responsibility than the other.
Exceptions Where Sole Parental Responsibility in Florida Is Granted
Florida family courts do not like completely eliminating a parent’s right to see his or her child. However, they do believe in common sense provisions that act in the best interest of the child. In certain situations, your spouse could receive a reduction in his or her parental responsibility or time sharing privileges. The courts may award you the tie-breaking decision vote when you and your spouse are unable to reach a decision. The courts could also stipulate that your spouse receives no visits unless he or she meets certain conditions. A divorce lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida can help you gather evidence showing that your spouse is not fit to receive shared parental responsibility.
Additionally, there are situations where your spouse is endangering the well-being of your child. In this case, the courts may award you with sole parental responsibility. However, this option is only available under extraordinary circumstances. You will need strong evidence showing why sole parental responsibility is necessary. A divorce attorney in West Palm Beach, Florida can work with you to find this evidence. Attorney Eric C. Cheshire will help you promote your case to the court during your child custody hearing.
Consult With an Experienced Florida Divorce Attorney
Have you decided to navigate the divorce process without an attorney? You may feel that you can save money by forgoing paying attorney fees. However, there are consequences to this decision. You could end up with a custody arrangement that gives you less time with your child. You could also end up paying more in child support than you originally intended. Both of these outcomes could wind up costing you more in the long run. Fortunately, you can find an experienced and affordable divorce attorney to help you with your case.
Attorney Eric Cheshire exclusively litigates in the areas of divorce and family law, with an extensive amount of experience in child support, child custody and timesharing issues. While no one can guarantee you sole parental responsibility in Florida, Attorney Cheshire can help you achieve the best possible outcome. Contact the Law Office of Eric C. Cheshire, P.A. at (561) 677-8090 to schedule an appointment.
You can also schedule a case evaluation by sending us a message online. We handle divorce cases in West Palm Beach and the surrounding areas. Receive the help of an experienced and knowledgeable divorce attorney today!