Florida residents may be interested in some statistics about the prevalence of grandparents with parental responsibility in the state. Government statistics reveal some interesting facts regarding demographics, as well.
Florida parents who are in the midst of a custody dispute or divorce may not be aware that their child's religious upbringing may become an issue. The judicial system has no conventional guidelines that are followed when addressing a child's religion, so a judge will use its own discretion in making a decision that will be in the child's best interests while also considering the parents' religious rights.
As technology continues to move forward, virtual visitation is a practical tool being discussed and utilized in family court systems as part of divorce proceedings. Florida and other states already have laws in place that permit the use of virtual visitation, which allows noncustodial parents and their children to enjoy time together through such methods as video conferencing and social networks. Courts in some states that currently do not have specific legislation are allowing this form as well as part of an approved parenting plan and custody order.
When parents are engaged in a child custody dispute, they are likely to hear the phrase "best interests of the child" in court. People with child custody cases may not understand what the phrase means in a legal sense. In Florida, the best interests of the child refers to the idea that courts make custody decisions designed to ensure the child's best outcomes in terms of their health, welfare and safety.
Florida courts will grant a grandparent reasonable visitation with their grandchild if the court deems it to be in the best interests of the child. In order for a court to award visitation, one of the parents must have deserted the child, the child was born out of wedlock or the child's parents' marriage ended in dissolution.
A parenting plan is a blueprint for the resolution of challenges that parents and their children may face prior to, during and following a dissolution of a marriage. Florida law changed the way that parenting issues are governed in divorce proceedings in 2008, and the biggest change is the requirement that a parenting plan be developed for every child involved in an action for dissolution of a marriage.
Florida basketball fans may be aware of Indiana Pacers player Paul George and his recent paternity issues. A female child has been born to a former paramour of his, and a prenatal paternity test showed a high probability that he is the father. Although reports indicate that George has requested a new paternity test, if the test indicates that he is the father, then he has announced his intention to ask for sole custody of the child.
Proposed legislation that was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives in December spells out what the U.S. can do if a foreign country fails to comply with the Hague international abduction treaty when a child is taken from Florida or any other state. U.S. State Department statistics show that in 2013, non-custodial parents abducted more than 1,000 children and moved with them to another country. The bill is now in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and hearings have already begun.
A push for shared parenting has resulted in an unprecedented change, with more Florida fathers are becoming single parents. During the last several decades, courts have made decisions regarding custody by considering the best interests of the child, which has resulted in a disproportionate number of custody decisions favoring the mothers. However, as more fathers push for joint custody, more mothers have decided to give up their portion of custody.
Florida couples may be interested in the latest legislative trend centered around child custody issues. New laws may dictate how custody is determined between divorcing spouses who go to court.