Cape Coral Attorneys Representing People in Child Custody Matters
When people who have a child together decide to end their relationship, they will often turn to the courts to decide how custody of the child should be divided. The Florida courts evaluate numerous factors and carefully consider what is in the best interest of the child when making custody determinations. The needs and resources of parents and their children can change over time, however, and a custody order that was once appropriate may need to be adjusted. As such, the law allows parties to seek child custody modifications. If you have questions regarding changing or opposing a request to change a custody order, it is smart to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The capable Cape Coral child custody lawyers of Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A. can advise you of your options for protecting your parental rights while seeking an outcome that is most beneficial for your child. We frequently represent people in child custody proceedings in Cape Coral and Fort Myers and Naples.
Child Custody Determinations Under Florida Law
In Florida, child custody is comprised of time-sharing, commonly known as physical custody, and parental responsibility, or legal custody. In any child custody case filed in Florida, the court’s primary concern is what is in the child’s best interest. The courts will evaluate several factors in determining what custody arrangement will be best for a child, including the physical and mental health of both the child and the parents, each parent’s ability to care for the child, and the child’s needs and age. The courts will also assess the child’s ties to their school or community, which parent traditionally acted as the primary caretaker for the child, and the need to create a stable environment for the child. Additionally, the courts will consider which parent is more likely to place the child’s needs above their own and the child’s preference.
The courts will issue orders detailing parental responsibilities and time-sharing rights after weighing any relevant factors. It is presumed that it is in a child’s best interest to have a relationship with both parents, and therefore, the courts will typically grant parents shared custody. The courts are not precluded from granting one parent sole custody, however, or ordering an unequal division of custody.
Child Custody Modifications
Florida law allows parties subject to custody orders to seek modifications in certain circumstances. Specifically, modifications will only be granted if the party seeking the modification demonstrates that a material and significant change in circumstances occurred since the existing order was issued and that the change necessitates a modification. For example, if either parent or the child experienced a change in health, a parent moved, a parent was convicted of a crime, or refuses to abide by the existing order.
The parent requesting the modification must not only demonstrate that situations have changed so drastically that change is necessary, but they must also prove that the alteration requested is in the best interest of the child involved, as that is the court’s primary interest in any child custody matter. The factors weighed in consideration of whether a modification would benefit a child are the same as those evaluated when making an initial custody determination. If the court ultimately determines both that a change is warranted and that it is in the child’s best interest, it will likely grant the request for a modification.
Speak to a Skillful Florida Lawyer Today
Child custody orders often extend over several years, and changes in circumstances over time can be grounds for requesting that a court alter a custody order. It is smart, therefore, for anyone who wishes to seek or oppose child custody modification to speak to an attorney. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, P.A., our skillful Cape Coral lawyers are adept at handling disputes over child custody, and if you have concerns over a request for a child custody modification, we can advise you of your options and help you to seek a favorable outcome. We regularly represent people in child custody cases from our offices in Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples.
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