Divorce is traumatic and highly emotional for everyone involved. It is important to remember to keep your children in mind when making decisions involving them. Regardless of your child’s age, it is rarely simple for kids to just pick up and move on as if nothing has happened after their parents have separated. Most children must learn to cope with a whole new lifestyle after their parents divorce. 

When a married couple splits apart, they often tend to forget about the child’s hardship and frequently use the child as ammunition to “get back at” or retaliate with the ex-spouse. The most ideal situation for deciding what is best for the children after a divorce will come by the actual parents themselves (if both spouses have the ability to keep the best interest of the children in mind).

Because of the tragedy and intense emotions involved, it is not uncommon for the courts to be forced to designate parenting responsibilities during the divorce hearing. Before a Florida divorce is finalized, the court will assign one parent’s home as the children’s primary residence. As long as there is no history of abuse or negligence involved, the other parent will be assigned scheduled visitation.

Child Visitation Rights

Florida Statutes were implemented to protect the best interest of children during a divorce or after a child is conceived out of wed-lock. In the state of Florida, when referring to a parent’s court ordered child custody visitation rights (time allowed to spend with a child) instead of saying “custody” the term used is “time-sharing”.

Florida’s county court systems calculate child support payments using the Child Support Guidelines Worksheet.

This document is to be completed by both parents in an effort to realize:

  • Each parent’s wage income
  • Cost of child’s health insurance coverage and uncovered medical expenses
  • Cost of child’s daycare expenses

The amount of time each parent will be spending with the child will play a role in helping the local court system to decide how much child support each parent will be responsible for paying. However, regardless of the amount of child support a non-custodial parent is required to pay, parental visitation rights with that child is a completely separate entity. Therefore, it is imperative a specific time-sharing plan is established during the initial child support court hearing. Nonetheless, whether or not the custodial parent allows scheduled visitations to the non-custodial parent, child support payments must still be made.  The courts will deal with the custodial parent withholding visitation separately.

The State of Florida permits the custodial parent to relocate to locations outside of the state if both parents consent to a written agreement.  The agreement must specify a time-sharing schedule and details of how the visiting parent or the child will travel for visits. The relocating custodial parent will also be required to submit a signed petition which includes the date of relocation, new address and telephone number of the new residence and an explanation for the move. This petition must be provided to the other parent within a reasonable amount of time ahead of the move.

Canty Law understands the pain and frustration of dealing with child custody battles and provides aggressive family law legal counsel for parenting planning with a holistic and personable approach for South Florida.   To find out more about your child visitation rights in Florida, call us today for a consultation at 561-430-4188.  You may also submit your request through our online submission form and someone from our firm will be in contact within 24 hours Monday through Friday.  We look forward to assisting you with your family law dispute.