When parents decide to divorce, it is a major personal crisis that affects them as well as their children. Although divorcing parents are ending their relationship as spouses, they are not ending their parenting relationship. Regardless of the circumstances, the care of the children should always be both parents’ primary concern. The responsibilities and duties relative to a child’s support and care will continue until the child is of legal age.
In Florida, family law courts base all of its decisions with regard to children’s support in a divorce proceeding on what the judge believes is in the “best interest of the child.” Specifically, Florida Law Section 61.13 Florida Statutes requires parents who will share time with minor children, to have a written parenting plan describing how the child’s support and care will continue after the divorce is final. The court encourages the divorcing couple to come to an agreement on a Parenting Plan negotiated between the parents and their legal counsel that the court will approve. If the parents cannot agree, the court will create one independent of the parents’ wishes. When the court approves the details of a Parenting Plan that is in the best interest of the child, some of the considerations include but are not limited to:
- Each parent’s ability to maintain a close emotional relationship with the child;
- Each parent’s ability to determine the specific needs of the child and take the appropriate actions to address those needs;
- The geographic location of each of the parents in relation to the child;
- Each parent’s ability to provide a stable residence and home life for the child;
- The emotional, mental, and physical health of each of the parents;
- Any evidence of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of the child;
- The educational and developmental needs of the child; and
- Any other facts or circumstances that impact the wellbeing of the child.
Once the court approves the plan, it becomes enforceable and must be followed by both parents.
Let D’Lugo and DeFlora, PA help define your rights, duties, and privileges as a parent. Our Osceola County based firm is always prepared to work in a cooperative and amicable manner to obtain the most beneficial and appropriate outcome in a case. The commitment to our clients is to work towards purposeful resolutions and to do so with minimum distress and maximum value. That is extremely important and sensitive in Family Law cases.
D’Lugo and DeFlora, P.A., services Kissimmee, St. Cloud, Lake Nona, Poinciana, Osceola County and throughout Central Florida. Call us for a consultation at 407.870.5551. You can find us online at www.kissimmeefamilylaw.com.