When a couple decides to get a divorce, custody of the child is of paramount importance. The parents need to work together, ensuring the child’s needs and best interests are prioritized. How does child custody work in Miami? Read further to learn about the process, what factors are considered in parenting time schedules, why you need parenting plans, and how the child custody attorneys at Peak Legal can help you prepare for and navigate this process.
Miami Child Custody Process
In Miami, child custody is also called time-sharing. It refers to the time the parents spend with their children after divorce. Generally, each parent will get 50% time-sharing with the children unless there are extenuating circumstances. If the parties cannot agree on how much time each parent spends with their child, the court will decide. In a difficult divorce, one of the parents might not agree with the other’s suggestion when it comes to child custody. This can lead to conflict and other problems that could affect the child’s quality of life.
Child custody in Miami has two types: physical custody (where the child primarily lives) and legal custody, also referred to as parental responsibility (who makes important decisions concerning the child). Shared custody is usually preferred as this will typically provide a better situation for the child as they grow up. However, you may be considered an unfit parent if you have a history of mental illness or drug abuse or if the court can prove you have abandoned or neglected your child in the past.
If you’re entering into child custody discussions after a divorce, an attorney from Peak Legal can help you work through this process and find the best resolution possible. Your lawyer can help facilitate or improve communication between you and your former spouse, ideally reducing the overall stress associated with a divorce and custody dispute. The court also requires that parents have a parenting plan for the children which is a contract that covers timesharing, parental responsibility, and other essential factors, and our team can help make sure you and your child’s interests are considered.
What Is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan (or a custody agreement in other states) is a document that outlines, in detail, the rights and responsibilities of each parent. In Miami, parents are required to submit this to the court. The plan includes a time-sharing schedule, communication and transportation arrangements, child support details, and a strategy for how decisions are made. More than a roadmap, a good parenting plan helps minimize conflicts and ensures the child’s needs are met.
Parents can update the parenting plan as the child’s needs change over time. It is recommended that you work with a lawyer to assist in changing the parenting plan. Both parties will need to provide a signed statement agreeing to the new parenting plan when the time comes.
In some cases, a parent may also request the court to modify the parenting plan when it’s believed the child may be at risk or if it’s thought the child could benefit from a new parenting plan. Count on our child custody lawyers to steer you in the right direction and ensure your child’s best interests are accounted for in any parenting plan we help you draft.
Keeping Your Child’s Best Interests At The Forefront
According to a study by the National Institutes of Health, a divorce may be associated with a child’s academic difficulties and disruptive behaviors. Children’s best interests should come first, helping ensure the divorce doesn’t affect them negatively in the long run.
In Miami, the court puts the child’s best interests first in determining child custody. Custody rights may be given to the parent who can best provide for the child’s emotional, physical, and developmental needs. The court also looks at the physical and mental health of both parties to determine who gets physical custody. If the child involved isn’t a minor, their personal preferences may also be considered.
The court also looks at how stable each parent’s home environment is and if it can contribute to the child’s growth. Any history of substance abuse or domestic violence can affect custody arrangements. Other factors the court considers include each parent’s willingness to care for their children, their involvement in the children’s education or medical care, and how stable they are.
How a Child Custody Lawyer Helps
In Miami, equal parenting time is the default because the court believes that equal time with the parents may be in the child’s best interests. However, this can be a problem when the other party doesn’t think equal time-sharing can benefit the child. When both parties don’t agree to the parenting plans, the court will ultimately decide who gets child custody.
You need to hire a lawyer to help you navigate the issue and educate you on how the process works. A child custody lawyer from Peak Legal can represent you in court, increasing your chances of getting child custody. We don’t just offer expert legal advice, we also offer emotional support.
Work With Peak Legal for Your Child Custody Case
If you’re going through a difficult divorce, get in touch with Peak Legal. Our team in Miami goes the extra mile in helping our clients — we don’t just go with the books; we’ll support you whenever you need us. Our goal is to provide you with an individualized legal experience, ensuring you get the best result when it comes to parenting plans or legal custody.
Our experienced team can help with the issues of child support and custody, parenting plans, dissolution of marriage, and division of assets. A divorce can be extremely stressful, but we’re here to guide you through every step of the process and ensure you’re well-informed to make better decisions.
In addition to child custody, we can also assist with prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, domestic violence cases, and anything related to family law. Request a consultation with Peak Legal today.