Child Custody Archives

Best interests of the child in Florida custody matters

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.

What are the visitation rights of a grandparent in Florida?

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.

Shared parental responsibility in Florida custody cases

Parents undergoing a child custody dispute can expect that most family courts will assign parents shared responsibility for their children, even when one parent may have primary residential or physical custody. Custody decisions encompass more than just determining with which parent a child will primarily live. It also involves courts determining how major decisions that affect the children's lives will be made.

What is a parenting plan?

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.

Basketball player's custody fight hinges on paternity test

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.

Florida daughter reunited with mother after abduction

A Florida girl who was taken by her father five years ago was returned to her mother. The mother had full child custody of the girl when the father used his court-ordered visitation to abduct the girl and take her to Mexico without the mother's permission.

Safety strategies for children traveling abroad with exes

Florida parents who are divorced from a spouse with international ties may feel anxious about allowing their children to travel out of the country. Due to the expense and difficulty of other countries enforcing court orders from the United States, if the ex-spouse decides to remain in another country with the children, parents can sometimes spend years trying to reunite with them.

New bill has international custody considerations

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.

Changing dynamics in families

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.

  • The Law Office of Daniel E. Forrest represents individuals in Fort Lauderdale in high-asset divorce matters. Daniel Forrest is board-certified family lawyer and mediator serving the South Florida area.
  • The Florida Bar - Board Certified | Marital & Family Law
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