enforce a Florida parenting plan

In Florida child custody cases, parents will be required to submit a parenting plan for court approval. The parenting plan outlines how the parents will share the custody, responsibilities, and decision-making authority for the children. Once approved, it will be binding and sanctions can be issued if it becomes necessary for a judge to enforce a Florida parenting plan. If your child’s parent has failed to comply with the parenting plan you should contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for assistance with how to enforce a Florida parenting plan. The legal action to enforce a Florida parenting plan should be based on the specific facts of each case.  A child custody attorney in Tampa can help advise on your specific circumstances.

Enforce a Florida Parenting Plan with Sanctions

There are many different types of sanctions a Florida family law court can order to enforce a Florida parenting plan. The penalty most often enforced is a sanction that requires the parents to offset the missed visitation. In fact, Florida family law requires the court to “award the parent denied time a sufficient amount of extra time-sharing to compensate for the time-sharing missed.” Further, the expenses for such time-sharing adjustment must be paid in full by the noncompliant parent. The noncompliance does not need to be caused by a willful disregard for the parenting plan. Rather, a parent needs only to prove the other parent failed to comply with the parenting plan without proper cause. See Florida child custody case Cummings v. Cummings.

Ordering additional visitation to make up for noncompliance is just one possible sanction. For instance, a court may also order the noncompliant parent to:

  • Pay the compliant parent’s court costs and attorney’s fees
  • Attend a court approved parenting course
  • Do community service
  • Pay the costs incurred by the children having frequent and continued contact with the parent
  • Hold the noncompliant parent in contempt of court – contempt is typically reserved for cases where awarding additional visitation have proven ineffective
  • Modification of the parenting plan

Enforce a Florida Parenting Plan Outside of Court

A parent should not retaliate or resort to self-help when the other parent fails to comply with the parenting plan. Instead, a case to enforce a Florida parenting plan should be filed in a court of law. A parent’s noncompliance does not permit the other parent to take matters into their own hands and disregard their own obligations under the parenting plan. Further, withholding child support payments or alimony is not permitted as retaliation for failure to abide by a parenting plan. See Florida v. Lemaster.  This holds true even if the noncompliance is willful and intentional. If a parent has failed to comply with the terms of the parenting plan you should contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for assistance.

Enforce a Florida Parenting Plan with Modification

Under Florida family law, a child custody order or parenting plan can be modified if there has been a substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances and the proposed change is in the child’s best interests. In some cases, failure to abide by a parenting plan may be deemed a substantial change in circumstances that would justify a parenting plan modification. However, parenting plans cannot be modified without first providing adequate notice and conducting a court hearing on the matter. Therefore, a case to enforce a Florida parenting plan will likely have to be filed in Florida family law court.

Modification of parenting plans as a sanction to enforce a Florida parenting plan is normally a last resort, the court will typically exhaust some of the other sanctions prior to modifying the parenting plan for noncompliance. See Rahall v. Cheaib-Rahall. Further, any modification based on noncompliance must also be in the best interests of the child. However, there may be other legal grounds to modify your parenting plan. For legal advice on modification of a parenting plan contact a child custody attorney in Tampa.

Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa

A skilled child custody law firm in Tampa can make a big difference in an initial child custody case or to enforce a Florida parenting plan. If you are seeking to enforce a Florida parenting plan or trying to prevent a unjustified enforcement claim contact Florida Law Advisers, P.A. to speak with a child custody attorney in Tampa. With years of experience in litigation, we are more than ready to stand firm for what is fair. We understand how important child custody matters are and work tirelessly to protect our client’s rights and do what’s best for the child. To speak with a child custody lawyer in Tampa call us today at 800 990 7763.

Florida parenting plan

In Florida child custody & divorce cases, the court will require the parents to submit a parenting plan for judicial approval. A Florida parenting plan outlines how the parents will share the responsibilities and decision-making authority for the children. For assistance with creating a Florida parenting plan contact a Tampa child custody attorney. The parenting plan, at a minimum, must describe how the parents will share and be responsible for the child.  Additionally, it should specify the time children will spend with each parent.  Also, the plan must designate who will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, other activities, and the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child. See Florida child custody law 61.13.

Florida Parenting Plan When the Parents Agree on the Terms

If the parents reach an agreement on the terms of the Florida parenting plan a judge will typically ratify the agreement, as long as the terms do not conflict with Florida child custody law or policy. A Tampa child custody attorney can help with drafting a Florida parenting plan based on the specifics of your agreement. Additionally, legal counsel and assist with navigating the case through the court system. If the parties are able to reach an agreement it can save a lot of time and legal fees. These types of cases are generally much quicker and less expensive than those requiring litigation.

How to Establish a Florida Parenting Plan When the Parents Do Not Agree

Florida law does not give any preference to mothers or fathers when deciding child custody matters. Instead, the custody arrangement will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of each case. If the parents are not able to reach an agreement amongst themselves, they should contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for legal counsel. Child custody disputes can be highly litigated and require a thorough understanding of Florida family law and procedure. An experienced child custody law firm in Tampa can provide a tremendous benefit in explaining the law, advocating on the parent’s behalf, and expediting the case through the court system.

How to Determine the Terms of a Florida Parenting Plan

In a Florida parenting plan case, the judge’s primary focus will be to find what is in the best interest and welfare of the child. See Decker v. Lyle.  The court will consider many different factors when determining which parenting plan that will be in the child’s best interest. It is important that you or your child custody lawyer know which factors the court will consider and use them to your advantage. The factors a court can consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Each parent’s willingness to act upon the needs of the child, as opposed to the needs of the parent
  • The preference of the child
  • The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the child, including, but not limited to, the child’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things
  • The moral fitness of the parents
  • Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect
  • The mental and physical health of the parents
  • The home, school, and community record of the child
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.

Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa

The Tampa child custody attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. know what judges consider when determining the best interest of the child. We use our knowledge of the law and litigation skills to aggressively represent our clients. Florida Law Advisers, P.A is a child custody law firm in Tampa that understands how important a Florida parenting plan case is and work tirelessly to protect ours client’s rights. To speak with a Tampa child custody lawyer at our firm call us today at 800 990 7763.

child’s preference in custody

Generally, Florida family law favors joint custody of children. The policy behind the law is to allow both parents to share the rights, responsibilities, and joys of raising children. However, in some cases joint custody will not be in the best interests of a child. Additionally, a child’s preference in custody cases can be a factor deciding the outcome. In these instances, it is important to hire an experienced child custody attorney in Tampa to advocate for you and your child’s rights. Child custody disputes can be very stressful, these matters are extremely important and the outcome will have a long-lasting effects.

Generally, a Florida family law court will grant shared parental responsibility (joint custody) unless the court determines that it will be detrimental to the child’s interests.  Florida courts have even gone as far as placing an obligation on parents to encourage a positive relationship between the child and other parent. See Schutz v. Schutz. When ruling on a child’s preference in custody, the judge will base their decision on the best interests of the child. The court will consider many factors when trying to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Some of the common factors considered are:

  • The child’s preference in custody
  • Mental and physical health of both parents
  • Any prior domestic violence allegations or charges
  • Relationship the child has with each parent
  • The parent’s ability to provide a stable living situation for the child
  • The geographic location of each parent
  • The parent’s work schedules

Can a Child’s Preference in Custody be Explained by the Child?

Under Florida family law, minor children may not attend a child custody hearing without prior court approval. See Florida Family Law Rule of Procedures 12.407. The parent requesting a child’s testimony must first schedule a court hearing on the request. At the hearing, the judge will consider all relevant factors when ruling on the request. If granted, the judge may allow the minor to testify about the child’s preference in custody.

If the court does allow the child to testify as a witness about the child’s preference in custody, it will typically be an in-camera examination. An in-camera examination will typically take place in the judge’s office without the parents present. In-camera examinations are private, the public will not be allowed to attend. However, a court reporter will be permitted to attend the examination. The court reporter will transcribe the examination and make the record available for use at a future court hearing. If the judge refuses to allow a court reporter to be present, it may be grounds for an appeal. See Hickey v. Burlinson.

Custody Modification Cases

The testimony of a minor regarding the child’s preference in custody may be permitted in both original child custody cases and child custody modifications. A child custody order or parenting plan can be modified if there has been a substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances and the proposed change is in the child’s best interest. For more information on how to modify an existing Florida child custody order contact a Tampa child custody lawyer for assistance.

Tampa Child Custody Law Firm

If you are in the middle of a child custody dispute contact Florida Law Advisers for help. When you work with a Tampa child custody attorney at Florida Law Advisers you can count on the support you deserve, as well as strong advocacy of your rights in these important matters. We understand how important child custody disputes are and our professional team is 100% committed to resolving your case in a stress free and efficient manner.  Call us today at 800 990 7763, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

how to change child custody in Florida

Often, clients ask us how to change child custody in Florida cases. Florida child custody judges use parenting plans to resolve disputes amongst the two parents. A parenting plan should detail the responsibilities and decision-making authority each parent has for the children. The parenting plan, at a minimum, must describe how the parents will share the responsibilities of raising the child. Specifically, the plan must provide a detailed schedule for the time children will spend with each parent.  Additionally, it should designate who will be responsible for health care, school-related matters, and extra-circular activities.

How to Change Child Custody in Florida By Modifying the Parenting Plan

Once the parenting plan has been issued by the Court it will be binding on both parents. However, Florida Statute 61.13 may be a solution if you are inquiring how to change child custody in Florida. In order to change child custody in Florida under Statute 61.13, there must be a substantial, unanticipated change in circumstances. Additionally, the proposed changes must be in the child’s best interest. The burden of proving that the change is unexpected and substantial can be difficult without competent legal counsel. Therefore, if you feel it will be in your child’s best interest to either modify or prevent a change in the parenting plan you should contact a Tampa child custody attorney for assistance.

How to Change Child Custody in Florida Based on a Change in Circumstances

One of the most difficult aspects of trying to figure out how to change child custody in Florida is gathering evidence to prove there has been a substantial change in circumstances. Determining if a change meets the requirement for a substantial change is decided on a case by case basis. However, there are some situations which will almost automatically be deemed substantial. These include but are not limited to:

  • Death of a parent
  • Child abuse
  • Conviction of a crime resulting in long term imprisonment
  • Repeated arrests for DUI while the child was in the car

A Florida family law court is likely to deem a change substantial when there is a combination of factors. For instance, allegations of substance abuse is generally not enough to automatically be deemed substantial unless the abuse poses a danger to the child. See Farrow v. Farrow.  Further, changes in health or financial condition of a parent is typically not enough by itself to be considered substantial. However, if the change is coupled with some other factor  it may be deemed a substantial change. For more information on Florida’s requirement for a substantial change in circumstances see Florida child custody case, Perez v. Perez. If you have questions about how to change child custody in Florida for a specific case contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for assistance.

How to Change Child Custody in Florida Based on the Best Interests of the Child

The court’s primary focus when determining child custody disputes the best interests of the child. The court will consider many different factors when determining if the proposed change will be in the child’s best interest. It is important that your child custody lawyer know how to change child custody in Florida and which factors the court will consider in its evaluation. Florida law does not give any preference to mothers or fathers when deciding child custody matters. Instead, the custody arrangement will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of each case.

Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa

A Florida family law court will determine custody based on the best interest of the child, and it is up to your attorney to prove to the court that your parenting plan is in the best interest of the child. The child custody attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. know what judges consider when evaluating parenting plans and are skilled advocates. We can draft the parenting plan and help persuade the court that your plan is in the best interests of the child. Florida Law Advisers, P.A is a child custody law firm in Tampa that understands how important child custody matters are and work tirelessly to protect a client’s rights and do what’s best for the child. If you are inquiring how to change child custody in Florida call us today to speak with a child custody attorney in Tampa and schedule your free consultation.

where to file for child custody

When a parents reside in different states it can create confusion as to where to file for child custody. In 2002, Florida adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to help resolve questions of where to file for child custody. A substantially similar statute has been enacted in every state. Therefore, the laws regarding jurisdiction are reciprocal and should not conflict with each other. The UCCJEA is designed to prevent a parent from changing states to avoid being subject to the law. The UCCJEA  also precludes a new state from entering any orders until the prior state affirmatively relinquishes jurisdiction.bNavigating the UCCJEA can be difficult, if you need help contact child custody lawyer in Tampa.

Where to File for Child Custody: The “Home State”

Typically, the first place to look when considering where to file for child custody should be the home state.  Under the UCCJEA, the state with jurisdiction over child custody matters is the referred to as the home state.  The home state is where the child lived for at least six consecutive months immediately before commencement of the case. If no state meets the criteria, the state with the most significant connection should be considered the home state.. For more information on establishing a home state, contact a Tampa child custody attorney to schedule a consultation.

Tips on the UCCJEA

  • If the child lived in Florida its entire life, Florida will have jurisdiction to enter or modify existing court orders. Therefore, Florida should be a choice for where to file for child custody
  • If the child has lived in Florida for at least 6 consecutive months prior to filing THE FIRST LEGAL ACTION REGARDING THE CHILD’S CUSTODY Florida will have jurisdiction.
  • If there have been custody orders entered by a state other than Florida that state will retain jurisdiction until relinquished.

Child Custody Cases Filed in a Different State

Once a court with home state jurisdiction enters a child custody order all other states are bound by that order and have no authority to modify the order. Further, even if a child lives in a new state for over six months, the prior state will still have exclusive jurisdiction over custody disputes, as long as one parent continues to reside in the original home state. See Florida Statute 61.515. This is commonly referred to as continuing exclusive jurisdiction. Under continuing exclusive jurisdiction, all states other than the home state that issued the order are forbidden from entering any custody orders or modifying existing court orders from the original state until the original state affirmatively relinquishes jurisdiction. Transferring jurisdiction can be difficult, if you need help contact a child custody law firm in Tampa for counsel.

Child Custody Law Firm in Tampa

If you need assistance and are unsure where to file for child custody contact Florida Law Advisers to speak with a child custody attorney in Tampa. The child custody attorneys at Florida Law Advisers, P.A. have years of experience helping parents resolve their child custody disputes. Our professional legal team is dedicated and passionate about these matters and will work tirelessly to help achieve the outcome you desire. The initial consultation is free and there is no commitment required. To speak with a child custody attorney in Tampa, contact us today by phone, email, or online inquiry.