Divorce/Child Custody/Child Support
Family law issues such as divorce, child custody, and child support are emotionally and mentally challenging. Families going through the divorce process face complicated decisions that are difficult to make. When making choices, spouses have to consider the best interests of their children, which can lead to uncertainty. Spouses must also fight for their own rights as they are subject to property distribution, spousal support, and child support laws.
If you are going through a family law matter, you should speak with a reputable Florida family law attorney. An attorney can inform you of your legal options, help you protect your children’s best interests, and guard your assets.
In the state of Florida, no fault and fault divorces are permitted. “Irreconcilable differences” is a type of no fault divorce. To file for divorce in Florida, one spouse must be a resident with the state for at least 6 months before filing. Once the petition for divorce is filed by a spouse, the other spouse has 20 days to file a response to the petition. The response addresses issues that the spouses agree and disagree upon, as well as any other issues that may be unclear at the time. The spouses may enter into a written agreement regarding child custody, child support, and property distribution or they may need a hearing with a judge to reach a settlement. If a judge is needed, the spouses will be subject to Florida equitable dissolution laws, which are designed to make the divorce settlement fair for both parties.
Child custody is a very tough area of law. When deciding upon the placement of a child, the Florida courts must consider what is in the child’s “best interest”. The court will consider things such as, but not limited to:
- The psychological state of each parent
- The child’s preference (at a certain age)
- The parents financial situations
- The parents willingness to allow visitation
- The history of domestic violence, if any
- The child’s current daily routine
After closely considering each of these issues, the judge will grant custody to the wife, husband, or both. In cases where both parents are ruled unfit, child custody may be granted to a legal guardian.
Spouses, despite being divorced, have financial responsibilities to their children. Every child has the right to receive financial support from both of their parents until the legal age of 18. Child support payments are applied toward things such as:
- The child’s shelter
- The child’s health insurance costs
- The child’s medical and dental expenses
- The child’s food
- The child’s clothing
- The child’s schooling expenses
When awarding child support, family law courts will follow state mandated guidelines. These guidelines consider each parents monthly income when calculating and determining child support awards.
Contact our law office to discuss your family matter today.