Divorce involving parents of children under the age of 18 poses a special set of concerns. The primary focus of the Family Court is the best interest of the children, and that phrase will be repeated many times throughout the divorce proceeding. The three most common issues concerning children and divorce is deciding upon parental responsibility and timesharing (formerly known as custody and visitation), calculation of child support, and relocating with the children.
Child Support is separate from alimony. Florida law requires that child support be awarded in every case involving children under the age of 18 who are not emancipated. Calculating child support is very mechanical because, unlike alimony, there is a statute that sets the minimum amount of support every child is entitled to receive from his or her parents. However, in order to arrive at the final amount of child support, the parties must first examine various extrinsic economic factors. Mark S. Steinberg, P.A. has calculated child support for many parents and will explain the method to you during your initial consultation.
Time Sharing is the legal term for visitation in Florida. Time sharing, along with parental responsibility, is outlined in a document called a Parenting Plan. A Parenting Plan sets forth in great detail what days the child or children will spend with each parent, how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks of raising their children, who will be responsible for decisions regarding school, healthcare, etc., and the methods the parents will use to communicate with their children. If the parents are unable to reach an agreement on their own, the Parenting Plan will be prepared by the Judge with only one objective: to create a plan that is in the best interest of the child or children. The factors the Judge is permitted to consider are listed in great detail in the Florida Statutes.
Child Relocation after divorce or a paternity proceeding is regulated by a very detailed statute. The Judge is required to consider all of the statutory factors when making a decision regarding relocation. Under Florida law, as in all matters relating to children, what is in the best interest of the child or children will be of primary consideration. If you are a parent who is attempting to relocate with your child or if you are a parent who is fighting the relocation of your child, it is critical that you are in full and timely compliance with the statute. Mark S. Steinberg, P.A. can help you navigate this complicated area of the law and present your case to your Judge.
If you have children and are considering divorce but want more information, call Mark S. Steinberg, P.A. at (305) 671-0015 or fill out the Contact Form to schedule a consultation.