You may have questions about child custody and how often you will be able to see your children. Florida courts generally favor custody agreements that give both parents substantial time with their children. However, you or your spouse could receive sole custody if the other has a history of abuse, substance abuse, neglect, or criminal activity. In these cases, any of you who is the non-majority parent of your children could spend as little as 10%, 20%, or 30% of your time with them.
Even then, this time may be supervised or subject to certain restrictions. Under Florida law, the court will order that the parental responsibility of a child be shared by both parents, unless the court determines that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. Florida Statute 61.13 sets out the factors that courts should consider when determining how custody rights should be divided, but it does not expressly state how custody should be divided. If the parents have joint custody with equal parenting time, a court will presume that each parent has the same expenses in relation to the child.
The court will determine all matters relating to the upbringing and timeshare of each of the parties' minor children in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Florida will not modify custody agreements based on parental dissatisfaction with a custody agreement. A judge will determine custody rights in Florida in the best interests of the child, as required by the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Pursuant to Florida Statute 61,13, courts will weigh numerous factors in determining custody rights, including the health of the child and each parent, each parent's ability to care for the child and, if the child is old enough to make a reasoned decision, the child's preference.
If a child spends the night with a parent for more than 20% of the year (73 nights), the court may assign a child support credit to one parent. Joint custody means that both parents share custody of the children and must agree on all important decisions related to the child. Parental responsibility for a child will always be shared by both parents, unless the court determines that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child. There is no presumption for or against the child's father or mother or for or against any specific timeshare program when creating or modifying the child's parenting plan.
Although mothers tend to get more custody than fathers, there is no Florida law that requires mothers to receive more custody than fathers. In fact, section 61,13 of the Florida Statutes states that “it is the public policy of this state that each minor child has frequent and ongoing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the parties' marriage is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and the joys, of parenting.