Scott Smiley should be able to answer many of your questions when you meet with him at your free initial consultation, but this information may help you better understand the custody issues you may face.
When minor children are involved in a dissolution of marriage, the Florida courts will do everything possible to help reduce the emotional trauma the children may be experiencing. If the parents cannot come to an agreement regarding the issues involving the children, the court will establish the custody order.
The court will determine all matters relating to custody of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. It is the public policy of this state to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing.
The father of the child shall be given the same consideration as the mother in determining the primary residence of a child irrespective of the age or sex of the child.
The court shall order that the parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child.
In ordering shared parental responsibility, the court may consider the expressed desires of the parents and may grant to one party the ultimate responsibility over specific aspects of the child's welfare or may divide those responsibilities between the parties based on the best interests of the child. Areas of responsibility may include primary residence, education, medical and dental care, and any other responsibilities that the court finds unique to a particular family.
The court shall order sole parental responsibility, with or without visitation rights, to the other parent when it is in the best interests of the minor child.