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Marital and Family Law Attorney

Is Florida a 5050 Child Custody State

Miami Lawyers Helping People Resolve Custody Disputes

Many parents that decide to end their relationship worry about how the decision will impact their right to see their child. While in some cases, parents are able to come to a custody agreement independently, in many instances, intervention from the courts is necessary to determine custody rights. Among other things, many parents wonder, “is Florida a 50/50 child custody state?” While the courts generally try to maintain both parents’ relationship with a child, there is no statutory right to equal custody, and it is critical for anyone involved in a custody dispute to speak to an attorney about their options. Miami attorney Sandy T. Fox is a Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist in Marital & Family Law who can advise you of your rights and gather the evidence needed to help you seek your desired outcome.

Is Florida a 50/50 Custody State?

Florida Statute 61.13 sets forth factors the courts should consider when determining how custody rights but does not expressly state how custody should be divided. In Florida, custody is made up of two parts: parental responsibility, which is the term used for legal custody or the right to make important decisions regarding the child’s upbringing, care, and education, and time-sharing, which refers to physical custody.

Can Co-Parents Develop an Agreement for 50/50 Custody?

If parents in a custody case agree with regard to how time-sharing and parental responsibility should be divided, they can submit a written parenting plan outlining their agreement to the court for approval. At a minimum, the plan must include a time-sharing schedule, define who will be responsible for addressing health or school-related issues, and establish how the daily obligations associated with raising a child will be shared. Parents are free to create a parenting plan that allows for equal custody rights. Generally, the courts will approve any parenting plan that is in the best interest of the child involved.

Will the Courts Grant 50/50 Custody if Co-Parents Cannot Come to an Agreement Regarding Custody?

In cases in which the parents cannot agree with regard to custody, the court will establish time-sharing and parental responsibility rights via an order. In any custody proceeding, the court’s primary concern is what is in the child’s best interest. Typically, a court will grant parents joint parental responsibility and time-sharing rights to promote a close relationship between the child and each parent. Pursuant to Florida Statute 61.13, the courts will weigh numerous factors when determining custody rights, including the health of the child and each parent, each parent's ability to care for the child, and if the child is old enough to make a reasoned decision, the child’s preference. The courts will also consider the parents’ moral character, the child’s developmental stage and needs, and the child’s ties to the community. The courts can grant one parent sole parental responsibility but grant the other parent time-sharing rights if it is appropriate under the facts of the case.

How Do Equal Custody Rights Impact Child Support Obligations?

Either parent can seek child support from their co-parent, regardless of whether a court grants parents equal time-sharing rights. For example, the courts may deny a parent who was previously convicted of a domestic violence crime parental responsibility or time-sharing rights but may still order the parent to pay child support.

Speak to a Trusted Miami Child Custody Attorney

When people with children decide to end their relationship, determining how they should divide custody can be a contentious and emotionally charged undertaking, and it is smart for anyone wondering whether Florida is a 50/50 child custody state to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. The trusted Miami attorneys of the Law Offices of Sandy T. Fox, P.A., are proficient at handling child custody matters, and if you engage their services, they will work hard to help you pursue the best result possible under the facts of your case. We have an office in Aventura, and we frequently represent people in custody cases in Miami. You can reach us to set up a confidential and free consultation by using our online form or calling us at 800.596.0579.