These days it is commonplace for a couple to have a child out of wedlock, meaning outside of marriage. While these couples may be able to co-parent and work together for years, things can be chaotic when they split up. First, in some situations it is unclear who the biological father of the child actually is. In those cases, a DNA test may be used to determine paternity.
In other situations, paternity is clear; however the couple still cannot agree upon what timesharing ("custody") there should be. Additionally, there may be a new boyfriend or girlfriend in the picture who is influencing a parent to move or keep a child away from the other parent. Regardless of the reason, when parents cannot agree on timesharing, child support, or a parenting plan, our firm is here to help.
Our firm begins every case by seeing what settlement options are available - can we quickly and effectively get the other parent to agree to the terms you feel are in the best interest of your children? If so, we may be able to resolve your case in a matter of weeks. In other situations, we may need to file an emergency motion to get you in to Court as soon as possible to protect your children from the other parent.
Regardless of the circumstances, our firm will help you to understand the law and your available options in order to achieve your goals. Our top priority is protecting your long term rights; however we understand that it is important that we achieve those goals soon as possible.
If you are going through a child timesharing battle, it is important that you understand how the legal system works in these situations. First, one party must file a petition, typically asking the Court to make a judgment on issues like paternity, timesharing, child support and a parenting plan.
The parenting plan will govern both parents' rights and responsibilities for years to come, so it is imperative that you are satisfied with the terms and conditions you will live by.
A related issue in timesharing cases is child support. In Florida, child support is determined by Florida's child support guidelines. When determining child support, the Court will consider both parties' income; the number of overnight visits each parent has with the children each year; the amount paid for health insurance or medical expenses for the children; and the amount paid for child care for the children by either party.
Even if your ex is withholding the children from you, the court may still order him/her child support in accordance with the guidelines retroactively - meaning for up to two years prior to your case being filed. This can result in thousands of dollars in arrearages, so it is important that you understand your options and how to properly calculate child support.
Overall, it is important that you understand that in Florida, the guiding principle in child timesharing cases is that the court must determine what is in the best interest of the children. Regardless of what the parents personally want, the court is going to rule in favor of the parent who the aforementioned factors favor.
Since every case is different, it is important to understand each factor and how the court will apply the facts of your particular situation to those factors.
If you have questions about child timesharing, call an attorney with Taracks & Associates today for a free, confidential consultation. We will help you understand the law and the factors that the Court will consider. We will evaluate your case and answer any questions you may have about child support, timesharing, or the parenting plan.