Custody and Timesharing
Palm Beach County Custody and Time Sharing Lawyers
The law offices of custody and time sharing attorney Stephen J. Press represent spouses and unmarried parents who have issues concerning custody and time sharing. For the most part Florida as enacted the law which drives to avoid custody battles between parents. Effective October 1, 2008, Florida enacted the most far reaching changes to parental responsibility (custody) in 26 years. The new law no longer uses the terms "custodial parent.", "Primary residential parent", "noncustodial parent". The new law a replaces almost any references to "custody" with the concept of "parenting plan" and "timesharing schedule". The law now requires the parties to submit a written parenting plan for approval by the court. Our firm is ready to consult with you and represent you concerning Florida's new law.Best Interests of the Child
The Shared Parental Responsibility Act focuses on the positive, which parent can best provide the best interests of the minor child. The parents are to focus on a parenting plan, how they are going to make decisions and how they're going to share time. There is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan. The law offices of West Palm Beach Custody and Time Sharing Attorney have over four decades of experience in handling divorce cases with children and fully appreciate the sensitivities involved. Learn more about custody and time sharing. Call us at (561) 833-2772 for a free consultation.
It is our goal to assist you in developing a workable parenting plan that will cover the important areas of parental decision making and time sharing. Having both parents exercise their rights and responsibilities in drafting a successful parenting plan is a win-win for the child.
The court does not consider the preference of the child in determining parental responsibility and the time-sharing schedule. There is a common misconception that an older child's preference carries weight with the court decision. This is not the case and in fact the court rarely allows a child to testify as to his or her preference. Although a child may be unhappy with one parent, allowing the child to control the parents during the time with the entire family emotionally places the child in a detrimental circumstance.
A critical finding of the California Center for the Family in Transition Study is: (W) e have mounting evidence that children are in terror during court proceedings, especially those proceedings that involve valuation of the child, separation from the "custodial parents", and disruption of the family unit.
It is precisely the concern for the child's best interest that the deemphasizing of custody fights has been made a primary goal of the new Florida law. The focus needs to be on the child, the child's temperament, the child's needs, the child's state in development, rather than the parent’s needs. Thus, the development of a successful parenting plan is paramount in any discussion of parental responsibility.
It is always in the family’s best interest if the important issues of parental responsibility and timesharing can be worked out amicably informally or formally through the mediation process. The legislature has stated in Florida statutes section 61.21 (a) states, "Parental conflict related to divorce is a societal concern because children suffer potential short-term and long-term detrimental economic, emotional, and educational effects during this difficult period of family transition. This is particularly true when parents engage in lengthy legal conflict."
In the event that settlement is not possible we are highly experienced in litigation and will fight for and protect your rights when necessary.
For more information about parental responsibility (custody), timesharing (visitation) and the related process of development of the parenting plan, please call an experienced West Palm Beach custody and time sharing attorney at (561) 833-2772 or contact us online for a free consultation.