Taking A Close Look at Joint Custody in Florida
When it comes to child custody, the general ‘trend’ today is to encourage joint custody, which allows a child to share the same or close to the same amount of time with both parents, and includes both legal (decision-making) and physical (where the child spends their time) custody. According to extensive studies, children who spend at least 35 percent of their time with each parent – where a developmentally-healthy, safe, secure environment is provided – are not only more likely to have a better relationship with that parent, but also tend to do better academically and otherwise. Studies also indicate that child in single and/or fatherless homes are more prone to homelessness (90 percent), dropping out of school (71 percent), and teen suicide (63 percent).
That being said, one-size-fits-all is, of course, never the case when it comes to child custody decisions; meaning that of course there are circumstances under which it does not make sense, for example, if there is a history of domestic violence or other illegal activities with one parent, or if the child has special needs and/or otherwise finds it debilitating to go between two households for other reasons, such as anxiety.
Florida Scores a C+
In addition, according to new research, a number of states do not exactly make it easy for children to spend equal time with both parents, and unfortunately, Florida was amongst them: While the state has strong statutory presumption of shared parental responsibility, and the law requires courts to consider a number of factors in this regard (including the “friendly parent factor,” which looks at efforts a parent makes to maintain a functional relationship with the other parent in the best interests of the child), the laws and presumption of shared responsibility do not address the issue of physical custody, nor do they explicitly provide for shared parenting during temporary orders. According to the report, the state of Florida earned a C+ grade as a result.
Contact Our Florida Family Law Attorneys
Family court issues are amongst the most important – as well as volatile – issues that can face both families and the courts. Of course, your interest is what is best for your child and your family. Working with an experienced, dedicated family law attorney can make all the difference in the world.
At HD Law Partners, our Tampa family attorneys have worked with countless individuals and families on child custody issues, and we understand how they can impact your life and the lives of those you love. With over 40 years combined experience here in Florida, we are prepared to provide you with the compassionate advice and representation that you need. Contact us today to find out more.