Upon the dissolution of a Florida marriage between parents of a dependent child, issues concerning the child's upbringing and support must be resolved. If possible, the parents reach their own agreements and the court approves them. In some cases, though, it is the court that is responsible for determining custody and visitation issues as well as the amount of child support. In all cases, the court bases its decisions in keeping with the best interests of the children and the circumstances of the family.
The specific elements that the court is required to examine when making child support and custody decisions are detailed in Florida child custody and support statutes. As a general policy in Florida, parental responsibility for a minor child is to be shared by both parents, unless detrimental to the child's interests. Florida public policy makes no presumption either for or against the father or mother. Similarly, the courts do not favor or disfavor any specific time-sharing schedule as part of the parenting plan.
In Florida, the legal fatherhood, or paternity, of a child is automatically established by the marriage of that child's parents. Dissolution of the marriage, of course, does not end parental responsibility. Rather, responsibility towards the child, including her schooling, place of residence and health care, is clarified, divided and specified in a parenting plan.
As part of the parenting plan, the court creates a time-sharing schedule that the parties must follow. The specific arrangements will be set based on the judge's assessment of multiple factors and the evaluation of what will be in the child's best interests. A Florida family law attorney can assist a client in these matters.
Source: The Florida Legislature , "The 2014 Florida Statutes", September 16, 2014