Fort Lauderdale Child Custody Lawyer
In Florida, children now spend time with their parents according to a parenting plan established between the parents. To minimize courtroom battles that pit parents against each other, state laws and courts have moved away from using words such as “custody” and “residential parent.” Time with children is now determined based on the “best interest” standard. By avoiding language that sets up a win-lose dynamic, the hope is that parents will look for solutions in which everyone wins, and parents will be able to co-parent more effectively after the divorce.
At The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., I have helped many people develop fair parenting plans, visitation, and time-sharing agreements. The circumstances of all of my clients are unique. As a Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney, I help my clients by listening carefully to their circumstances and coming up with solutions tailored to their situations.
How to Prepare for a Custody Hearing
Establishing a custody arrangement can be a scary thing to think about, and more so considering that you will need to go to court to explain why you want the best for your child. Having a Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer on your side can make all the difference. There are a few ways you can prepare for your child custody hearing such as:
- Familiarize yourself with the laws: You do not have to become an attorney to go to court but you should be familiar with the laws in your state and how this may affect your case. It is always a good idea to meet with your Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer and ask as many questions as you can think of until you are comfortable.
- Know that to bring: Your lawyer will be able to guide you in what you will need to bring to the court hearing. These documents will be critical for your case. These documents might include proof of child support payment, visitation schedule, phone logs, text messages, and more.
- Study courtroom etiquette: You will need to act accordingly when you are in court as your behavior can make an impact on the judge’s final decision. You should be professional in your manners and speech.
- Understand sole custody requirements: If you are looking for sole custody you will need to understand the requirements needed for this. It is not as easy as you may think.
- Dress to impress: Consider everything, including how you present yourself. While your parenting skills should not be judged by the way you dress, your first impression can go a long way in your case and where your child will spend most of their time.
Factors That Must Be Considered
As your child custody lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, I will help use the following factors to determine the best time-sharing schedule for the children.
- Facilitating frequent contact — A willingness by parents to show that they are following the parenting plan, allowing for reasonable changes in the schedule, and helping to encourage a close relationship with the other parent
- Determining parental responsibilities criteria — Evaluating who is in the best position to assume certain parental tasks
- Helping figure out how each parent will consider and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and how to maintain this continuity
- The geographic viability of the parenting plan
- The moral fitness of each parent
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- The school and community record of the children
The court will also consider:
- The reasonable preference of the child
- If each parent wants to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child
- How each parent intends to provide a consistent routine for the child, including discipline and daily schedules
- How each parent communicates with each other, keeping each other informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child
- If there is evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect
- If a parent has knowingly provided false information to the court
- The division of parental responsibilities
- How each parent plans to participate and is involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities
- The disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse
- How each parent intends to protect the child from ongoing litigation
- How each parent will handle the developmental stages and needs of the child
- Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing schedule
Reasons to Modify Child Custody
Circumstances can change and therefore your child custody arrangement may not work for you as it did before. If you think there is a legitimate reason why you need a custody modification you will need to discuss this with your Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer. Some reasons a modification may be necessary are:
- The child is in immediate danger
- One party has remarried and this has caused a significant change in their lifestyle and living arrangements
- Relocation, one parent may need to move away for work or better opportunities which may cause a strain on the current custody agreement,
- Visitations are missed regularly. When this happens regularly and there are more visitations missed than are attended, this can have a negative impact on the child. This can also be a legitimate cause for a custody modification.
- Change in employment. When one person changes their job, this can significantly impact the way they live their life and their schedule. This can also be a reason to change the custody arrangement.
Whether you are establishing a new child custody arrangement or need to modify a current one you will need the guidance of a Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer.
Contact Me Today For Thorough Counsel
Start planning today with a child custody attorney in Fort Lauderdale. Contact The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A., toll-free at 954-533-2756 to schedule your free consultation. My office is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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For legal representation in any dissolution of marriage matter, please reach out to me online or call me toll free at 954-533-2756.