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Miami Child Custody Lawyer

Experienced Miami Child Custody Lawyer

Why choose the Vasquez de Lara Law Group
Serving All Miami-Dade & Broward Counties

Top-Rated Miami Divorce Lawyers

Anxiety and stress. Fear of what’s next. Not knowing what to do. We absolutely understand what you’re going through right now is not easy.

The right legal team can give you the confidence to know you’ll get the best outcome possible.

Types of Family Law Cases We Handle

Our experienced Miami divorce lawyers

Focus on helping people navigate their divorce or child custody issues with confidence and care.

In Florida, the traditional term “custody” has been replaced with terms such as parental responsibility and time-sharing to better reflect the intentions of state lawmakers to create a system in which both parents are active in the child’s life and where the child has access to both parents. If you are planning to divorce and you have minor children in the home, a Miami child custody lawyer can help you develop a parenting plan that reflects the best interest of your child.

How Custody in Miami Is Handled

In most locations, custody refers to both the legal right of the parent to make decisions for their child — such as where they will attend school, which church they will attend, or the extra-curricular activities they participate in — as well as which parent the child primarily resides with. In Florida, legal custody is referred to as parental responsibility, and physical custody is referred to as time-sharing. The particulars of parental responsibility and time-sharing are spelled out in a parenting plan. If the parents who are divorcing do not develop this plan through mediation or an agreement, the court will develop the plan.

While the courts tend to favor equal parental responsibility and have been moving towards equal time-sharing, they will consider the unique circumstances of the child and both parents in order to determine the child’s best interests.

The Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a document that is included in both temporary orders as well as the final divorce orders. This plan provides a clear outline of issues such as:

  • A time-sharing schedule, including how holidays will be shared.
  • How communication about the children will be handled between the parents.
  • Provisions for extra-curricular activities.
  • How decisions such as extracurriculars, medical or dental situations, and religious instructions will be shared.
  • The particulars of transportation and child exchanges will work.
  • How decisions about out-of-state or country travel will be handled.

Generally, if parents submit their plan to the judge together, the judge will agree to the provisions, provided the plan is complete and clear.

Modifying a Parenting Plan

Parenting plans often change as the child grows and their needs become different. If both parents agree to the changes in the parenting plan, the process of modifying the agreement often consists of submitting the changes along with a signed statement that both parents are in agreement. However, in some cases, a parent can request that the court modify the parenting plan for other reasons, such as:

  • The belief that the child’s safety is at risk if the parenting plan continues.
  • One parent has experienced a substantial change in circumstances that makes them unable to meet the parental responsibility and time-sharing obligations that they were granted through the original plan.
  • There is a substantial benefit to be gained by the child from a modification in the agreement.

How a Lawyer Can Help with Miami Child Custody Matters

An experienced Miami child custody lawyer can work with parents who are mainly in agreement about parental responsibility and time-sharing to develop a parenting plan that is clear and complete. Additionally, if a parent is seeking full custody or wishes to modify a parenting plan against the other parent’s wishes, an attorney can provide guidance as to the types of evidence needed to prove cause for the modification. Other matters pertaining to parenting after a divorce can also be addressed with an experienced family lawyer, such as child support, maintenance, and matters involved in a high net worth divorce.

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Divorce Resources and Guides

You Have Questions. We Have Answers.

How is child custody determined in Florida?

Parental responsibility and time-sharing are determined based on what is in the best interests of the child. The court begins with the notion that both parents are equally responsible and entitled to substantial time with the child. However, additional factors are also considered, such as the child’s preference (if they are of sufficient understanding and experience to state a preference), as well as circumstances that could threaten the well-being of the child if they were required to spend substantial time with a parent, such as the parent’s addiction to alcohol or drugs, a parent being charged with domestic abuse, or an established risk that the other parent plans to flee with the child.

If the other parent is behind on child support, can visitation be withheld?

No. Child support and time-sharing are two separate provisions, and the only reason one impacts the other is in the determination of child support based on how many nights the child stays with each parent.

How is a child custody order enforced?

If one parent violates the parenting plan, the other parent has a couple of options:

  • They can try to negotiate with the other parent in order to get them to comply with the order.
  • They can call the police. Technically, the police can enforce a court order, but they are generally reluctant to get involved in family matters.
  • They can pursue the matter in court.

An experienced family law attorney can help a parent decide the best route to take if the other parent is not abiding by the parenting plan.

When is it time to call a Miami child custody lawyer?

If you have any legal questions about child custody or your parenting plan, an experienced Miami child custody lawyer can provide answers and explain to you the type of services they can offer to assist you with the matter.