Child custody is often the most contentious issue in a divorce in which children are involved. In addition, parents who were never married often have disputes regarding access to their children and important decisions about how they will be raised. Fortunately, if you are involved in a disagreement regarding your parental rights, a St. Augustine child custody lawyer may be able to help.
Florida law no longer refers to legal or physical custody of children. Instead, the law refers to parental responsibility and time-sharing. Parental responsibility refers to the ability to make important decisions about the way a child is raised, and time-sharing refers to the time you are actually with your child.
Courts are required to decide all issues related to parental responsibility and time-sharing considering the best interests of the child. In addition, the law directs courts to order shared parental responsibility unless the court finds that doing so will be detrimental to the child. Some of the factors that courts consider when determining the best interests of the child include:
These are just a few of the factors a court may consider, and judges have significant discretion when making decisions about parenting and time-sharing. For this reason, it’s critical that anyone involved in a custody dispute retain an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.
If you are involved in a custody dispute or believe that one may arise in the near future, you should contact a lawyer right away. At Naples & Spence, Attorneys at Law, we know how to protect your parental rights and will work tirelessly to resolve your case as favorably as possible. Contact us online or call 904.657.7117 to schedule a consultation with a St. Johns County child custody lawyer.