Child Custody: Your Right To Parent Your Child After Divorce

One of the most important and frequently contested issues in divorce proceedings is child custody. Custody cases can also arise from separations between unmarried parents. When your right to spend time with your child is at stake, it’s critical to protect your own interests – and those of your child – by working with a skilled attorney who understands Florida family law inside and out.

I am attorney Mark E. Sawicki, and I can partner with you to create a plan that ensures that your child will thrive. I work one-on-one with my clients to educate, advise and support them during child custody negotiations and trial, if it comes to that. I fully invest in the advocacy you need at this critical time. From offices in West Palm Beach (Palm Beach Gardens) and Fort Lauderdale, I am available to clients throughout these communities and surrounding areas. At my firm, you are not just treated like family; you are family.

Understanding Florida Child Custody Laws

Florida custody laws can be challenging to navigate. The outcome of your custody case will have a major impact on everyone involved. It’s extremely significant in terms of:

  • Children’s entire circumstances during the rest of their development
  • Parent-child bonds
  • Overall family dynamics
  • Extended family relationships

In considering these issues, courts must always side with the children’s best interests. As difficult as it may be to face the necessary legal challenges, it is worthwhile to do what it takes to get custody and visitation issues resolved with the least disruption possible to ensure your children’s well-being.

Don’t Enter Into Custody Arrangements Without First Consulting A Lawyer

While it is natural to talk with your spouse about child-related matters, be careful not to make promises about a parenting plan or get into an informal custody arrangement without getting legal counsel first. Otherwise, you may erode the strength of your position in the formal custody case. Please have an in-depth conversation with an attorney before you agree to any child custody arrangement.

As an experienced and award-winning attorney who focuses solely on Florida family law, I offer real-world advice and counsel. I will work hard to fight for your rights as a parent.

Frequently Asked Questions About Custody And Parenting Time

Child custody cases involve many components. Below, I address some of them. Reach out to me for more specific guidance on your situation.

What is child custody?

Child custody is a term defining the legal and practical arrangements of a parent-child relationship. In a divorce proceeding, the issue of child custody will lead to decisions as to which parent is responsible for the child, as well as what the responsibilities and privileges of the other parent are. This will also determine which parent the child will reside with, and how often, and what the conditions for the other parent to exercise his or her time-sharing rights are.

The same issues may apply to situations between unmarried parents who are separated or in the process of separating.

What are the grounds for determining child custody?

The “best interests of the child” is the overarching standard in deciding child custody cases. Florida law sets out specific factors that go into determining the best interests of the child. It’s important to present solid evidence to support your position and to demonstrate that your custody proposal is in the child’s best interests.

What if one parent lives out of state?

Custody cases are more complicated when the parents reside in different states. The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act establishes a legal framework for deciding which state courts get to decide the custody case. I’m familiar with all the nuances of this complex law.

What are the forms of child custody?

The most mistaken public perception of child custody is that it takes the form of sole custody of the child. In fact, there are numerous other forms of child custody, including:

  • Joint: Both parents will have physical custody and legal authority over the child.
  • Sole: One parent has physical custody and legal authority over the child.
  • Split: One parent gets custody over some of the children, and the other parent gets custody of the others.
  • Third-party custody: Someone other than the parents will have custody of the children. This situation is rare.

Florida law presumes that joint custody and 50-50 shared parenting time are the starting points in every custody case. However, there may be many grounds for demonstrating that another arrangement is in the best interests of the child.

Take Steps To Pursue The Best Outcome For Your Children And Family

Even before you see a lawyer, start keeping a log of all the interactions that you have with your children. Also, keep notes on ways that you support them, such as making doctors’ appointments, communicating with their teachers and attending their extracurricular activities such as sports games and dance recitals.

Get Answers, Understanding And Real Help

Start protecting your family now by getting the legal counsel you need to secure your children’s best interests. Child custody issues often cannot wait, and I understand your need for a quick response. Call 954-928-9331 or complete a simple online form to request a free consultation with me, attorney Mark E. Sawicki.