Under Florida law, child custody decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. Generally, the law favors that children enjoy a relationship with both parents, which means that sole custody arrangements are rare. However, there may be special circumstances in which a parent may have limited or supervised visitation. For instance, this may be the case when a parent has a domestic violence charge or if there is a concern for the safety of the child. Child custody matters can be complex. If you are getting divorced and you have minor children, you’ll need to develop a parenting plan that works for your family that will be approved by the court. In general, the courts are looking for parenting plans that allow children to enjoy a continued relationship with both parents. When developing a parenting plan, it is important to realistically look at your goals, responsibilities, and family needs. Florida law requires parents to establish minimum guidelines in a parenting plan. The Law Offices of Melissa Anne Murray, PA. can assist you in developing a parenting plan that meets your children’s and family’s needs.
What Must Be Included in a Parenting Plan
Parenting plans are required in all cases where a couple shares custody of minor children. When individuals are getting divorced, or when two parents don’t live in the same household, a parenting plan may be required to establish parenting time, parenting decisions, and other concerns that can arise during shared custody. There are some minimum requirements that parenting plans must meet. For instance, every parenting plan should:
- Establish a time-sharing schedule that notes when each parent will spend time with the children. Parents should consider how they will alternate or divide holidays and school breaks. Parents should also consider weekends and weeknight scheduling.
- Indicate which school the child will attend. This is especially important if parents reside in distinct school districts.
- Outline how decisions about medical care, schooling, and scheduling disagreements or changes will be resolved.
- Outline how each parent will be responsible for the daily needs of the children.
Parents should consider their children’s best interests and needs when developing a parenting plan. Most couples will develop a parenting plan with the assistance of a child custody lawyer outside of court. It is usually in your family’s best interest to resolve disagreements outside of court with the assistance of a qualified child custody lawyer, like the attorneys at the The Law Offices of Melissa Anne Murray, PA. Taking a parenting plan dispute to court can result in a judgment that nobody wants. Parents who do this are putting their family’s future in the hands of a judge—essentially a stranger. This is why many families spend the time working with a qualified child custody attorney to assist them with their parenting plan and child custody disagreements. Disagreement and conflict may be part of most child custody arrangements. However, a caring and compassionate family attorney can help you navigate this emotional and challenging legal process.
Determining Child Support
Child support is calculated based on the income of each parent and the child’s unique needs. Florida uses standardized formulas to help parents calculate how much child support they may have to pay or how much they may be entitled to receive. In order to calculate child support, the court will review each parent’s finances, including income, bonuses, worker’s compensation, disability payments, and other income sources including rental income and investments. Certain taxes and deductions may be included in determining how much each parent is worth.
Once these figures have been determined, your divorce lawyer can determine each parent’s financial obligation. This will depend on the time children spend with each spouse and the child’s needs. Other expenses, such as school tuition, medical premiums, dental bills, and after-school care activities may also be separately included and calculated. If you have questions about child support, contact The Law Offices of Melissa Anne Murray, PA,. We can help you protect your children’s rights to support.
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How to Modify Child Support
Child support can be modified only when one or both parents have experienced a change in circumstances. Generally, these changes may involve a change in income or a change in the amount of time each parent is spending with the children. Paperwork must be properly filed and the parent seeking a modification must prove that a change in circumstance has taken place. If you’ve lost a job, if your income has gone down, or gone up, you may qualify to modify child support. Contact the child support modification attorneys at The Law Offices of Melissa Anne Murray, PA in Delray Beach, Florida.
Helping Families Resolve Child Custody Concerns
If you are getting divorced, questions and concerns about child custody can be stressful. Child custody, child support, and family law decisions can be among the most contentious issues that arise during a divorce. The decisions you make now can impact your family for years to come. It can be very difficult to modify a parenting plan once one has been made. This is why you want to get child custody matters right the first time. Contact the compassionate and caring child custody lawyers at The Law Offices of Melissa Anne Murray, PA. Our Delray Beach child custody attorneys can assist you as you navigate these legal challenges.