Top 5 Child Custody Q&As in Florida

Top 5 Child Custody Q&As in Florida

Stephanie Cortes
 | 

According to Kids Count Data Center , in 2018, there were around 1,576,000 children in single-parent families in Florida. 382,000 children were living with cohabiting domestic partners.  Family law courts highly encourage co-parenting with-out a court order. However, this may not always be possible.

 

Either parent can file a request for child custody and visitation orders in the Florida family court. The two types of custody that may be requested:

  • Legal
  • Physical
The custody options include:
  • sole
  • joint custody.
 

Both options include the right to make decisions for the children and share parenting time, except in the cases that the parent endangers the children. The court will always make orders regarding the child by determining what is in their best interest. 

 

The process of obtaining child custody orders can feel overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect. Here are answers to child custody related questions in Florida.


How can I obtain child custody orders in Florida?

 

Parents seeking custody orders may submit a family law case petition at Florida court in the district that child or either parent resides in. Courts may be located on the Florida Courts state website.

 

Before receiving orders, Florida courts will ask parents to file a “Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act” form that provides a list of the children’s home addresses within the past few years. This form will help the Florida court determine if they have  jurisdiction to hear the case and make orders. Jurisdiction is applied to the state and district of the children’s home residence.

 

Child custody orders may become more difficult to request if the child has lived in different states because the Florida court may not obtain jurisdiction. This policy is implemented to avoid parents escaping from orders made in another state. As long as one parent lives in the state of the court with jurisdiction then no other state will have the authority to modify a child custody order.

 

If  there is a family law case already open, the parent may also request to add child custody orders or modify existing orders with the same case number. To modify child custody orders, there must a change in circumstances. 


How does the Florida court decide child custody orders?

 

When deciding custody and visitation orders, Florida family law court will consider the best interest of the children by evaluating some of  the following factors:

  • the parent’s willingness to communicate effectively, honor the parenting schedule, and become reasonable when needed. 
  • desires of the children, depending on maturity
  • the children's emotional and physical needs at the present and in the future
  • the absence of emotional and physical danger to the children at the present and in the future
  • the parents’ mental and physical well-being 
  • the parent is involved with the developmental needs, routines, and people surrounding the children
  • failure to pay child or spousal support payments
  • the stability and safety of the children’s proposed home
  • any acts that indicate an existing parent-child relationship that is not proper
  • any acts that neglect the acts that indicate an improper parent child-relationship 
 

If the parents are not able to agree on a parenting plan, Florida family courts may ask them to attend mediation or appoint a custody evaluator to represent the best interest of the child. An exception is generally made for domestic violence cases.


How will child custody orders impact child support?
 

Both parents are required to care for the children’s needs. Non-custodial parents are generally ordered to provide the custodial parent with financial support for the children that do not live the majority of the time with them. 

 

Florida court determines the monthly payment by calculating the parenting time and net income. You may use the Official Child Support Guidelines and Worksheet on Florida’s court website to estimate the amount.

 

If the child custody order has been modified, the paying parent may request that the child support be changed as well to reflect the new parenting time.

 

For additional child support questions, contact the Florida Department of Revenue at (850) 717-7000.

 

Can a custody order from another state be enforced in Florida?

 

Yes. 

 

A parent may want to register an out-of-state custody order so that Florida law enforcement obtain the authority to enforce it in the case it is violated. Once a registration request is submitted to the family law court, jurisdiction will be determined through the UCCJEA forms filed by the parents.

 

Child custody orders may also be registered in Florida as a supporting way to enforce it. A parent may submit the following to the appropriate family court district in Florida:

 
  • A letter requesting registration
  • Two copies of the out-of-state order. Courts generally request one to be a certified copy.
  • A signed statement under penalty of perjury informing the court that to the best of your knowledge and belief, the order has not been changed.
  • The name and addresses of all parties in the case
 

Can I get custody orders if I am not the child’s parent?

 

Yes.

 

Extended family members may submit a petition for concurrent custody if they are caring full time for the child in the role of substitute parent and the child presently lives with them. 

 

In some circumstances, parents may sign an Authorization Agreement for Nonparent Relative to authorize an individual to make decisions for the children. If there is not an existing child custody court order, non-parents may file a custody to advocate for the child as a “guardian ad litem”. Under Florida state law, guardian ad litems are granted the authority, privileges, and responsibilities required to advance the child’s best interest. This can be filed to request temporary custody orders. If one of the parents objects to the petition, the court will consider the parent’s ability to care for the child’s needs. 

 

If there is a case opened, then non-parents may request the Florida family court to modify the order.

 

Seeking custody orders can be overwhelming. It is vital that the children’s best interest are being represented. A Florida experienced family law attorney can explain state-specific laws, your parenting rights, and custody options.



LawChamps is here to connect you with an experienced and trusted lawyer who can help you. These views are those of the author and not LawChamps.
Stephanie Cortes

Find My Lawyer

Start by selecting your legal need:
Business / Employment

Business / Employment

Family / Personal / Injury / Immigration

Family / Personal / Injury / Immigration

Criminal Defense / Civil Rights

Criminal Defense / Civil Rights

Real Estate / Housing

Real Estate / Housing

Estate Planning / Power of Attorney

Estate Planning / Power of Attorney

Review & Rating Images LawChamps
LawChamps Reviews

"I was able to find just the right lawyer for my case. It was easy to use."

Lucy Coutinho

Client

Review & Rating Images LawChamps
LawChamps Reviews

"Very easy for me to get connected with an experienced attorney."

Robert Knox Jr

Client

Review & Rating Images LawChamps
LawChamps Reviews

"It was super easy. It was super fast and I got connected pretty quickly."

Lenasia Smalls

Client

Client Testimonial - Triso Valls
LawChamps Reviews

"It’s easy to register and match with a lawyer according to your legal [need]."

Triso Valls

Client

Ready To Get Started?

Find Your Lawyer NowLawChamps Arrow Icon

Related Posts

Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Georgia

Kaylyn McKenna | 30 April, 2021

Divorces are stressful and filled with uncertainty. The family home is often the asset that families are most concerned about. Keeping the home can provide some much-need...

Read More Arrow Icon

Background Checks: A Guide For Florida Employers

Michelle Patrick | 30 April, 2021

All employers want their businesses to succeed and hiring the right employees is integral to that success. As a Florida employer you will have to choose carefully when hi...

Read More Arrow Icon

Who Gets the House in a Divorce in Texas

Kaylyn McKenna | 21 April, 2021

This is a sellers' market. If you are going through a divorce, you may be wondering who "gets the house," or "who gets the proceeds of the sale." ...

Read More Arrow Icon

Related Posts

Hire One, Help Another

LawChamps donates a portion of our revenue, investing it back into funding justice reform organizations and subsidizing the legal fees for those who cannot afford them.
Learn More