I AM FIGHTING FOR CUSTODY OF MY CHILD, WHAT CAN I DO?
In Florida, when custody of a child is shared between parents both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to the child. Major decisions that affect the welfare of the child must be determined jointly between both parents. A time sharing schedule is set by the Court that specifies the time the minor child will spend with each parent. When determining a time sharing schedule some important factors the Court will consider are:
- The ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close relationship with the other parent, to honor the time sharing schedule, and to act reasonably when changes are required.
- The division of parental responsibilities and the extent to which responsibilities will be passed on to third parties.
- The ability of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable environment and the desire to continue living in that environment.
- The location each parent lives, and its affect on schooling and the child’s ability to travel between parents.
- The moral fitness of the parents.
- The mental and physical health of the parents.
- The home, school, and community record of the child.
- The preference of the child, if the child is old enough to make an informed decision.
- The ability of each parent to stay informed of the circumstances of the child and be involved in the child’s education.
- The demonstrated ability of each parent to communicate with the other.
- Evidence of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect or evidence that a parent has provided false information to the court on such an issue.
- The demonstrated ability to keep the child’s home free of substance abuse.
The goal of the Court is to assure that a minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents and to encourage a time sharing plan that does not favor one parent over the other. If you are being deprived of your right to see your child, or if your co-parent is not adhering to the time sharing plan, please contact me by calling 407-233-3210 or 888-778-7638 toll free.
During your free, initial consultation, we can discuss your circumstances and legal options privately and in confidence.
I’M NOT RECEIVING MY CHILD SUPPORT, WHAT CAN I DO?
Parents have a continuing obligation to support their child financially until they are 18 years old, or if still in high school, until they are 19 years old. Child support includes expenses for daycare, medical treatment, health insurance, and anything else the Court determines is in the best interest of the child. Child support can be modified if a change in circumstances makes it necessary. For ease of payments, Florida has an online child support system that provides direct deposits of child support payments or pre-paid cards which are sent by mail.
If you are not receiving child support from a co-parent who has been ordered to pay, you may not deny the other parent their right to see their child. Time sharing is not dependent on the payment of child support and interfering with the time sharing plan may negatively impact your custody over your child.
If you have not received a due child support payment, you must take action through the Court in order to collect. The Court can collect unpaid child support payments in many ways, including, but not limited to:
- Seizing funds from the non-paying parents bank account or wages.
- Withholding government benefits such as worker’s compensation payments.
- Placing liens on the non-paying parent’s vehicle, real estate, or other property.
- Freezing the non-paying parents line of equity on their home.
- Reporting the missing payments to credit bureaus.
- Suspending the non-paying parent’s drivers license or passport.
- Incarcerating the non-paying parent until payments are made up to date.
The most serious route the Court may take is holding the non-paying parent in contempt of court, resulting in their incarceration. To do so, the Court must find that the non-paying parent understood the terms of the child support and had the ability to make the payments but refused to do so.
If you are not receiving child support, please contact me at 407-233-3210 or 888-778-7638 toll free to discuss your options in a free consultation. If you are being charged with contempt of court for failure to pay child support, this is a serious charge that can result in incarceration. Please contact me at 407-233-3210 or 888-778-7638 toll free for a free consultation where we can discuss your legal options in a confidential setting.
I AM BEING DENIED MY RIGHTS AS A FATHER, HOW CAN I ESTABLISH PATERNITY?
In Florida, if you are not married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth, paternity must be established independently. This can be done by both biological parents acknowledging paternity at the birth of the child or by the biological parents marrying each other after the birth of the child. If the mother will not voluntarily acknowledge the paternity of the child or consent to genetic testing, the man who believes he is the father may initiate a court proceeding to have himself declared the legal father of the child.
The Court may order genetic testing to determine paternity and allow other testimony and evidence that establishes a relationship between the parties. This evidence can include the biological father’s involvement in the pregnancy and/or life of the child, his belief that the child is biologically his, and the presence of his name on the birth certificate.
In order to ensure that your rights as a father are not infringed upon, an unmarried biological father must register with the Florida Putative Father Registry. This registration confirms the father’s willingness and intent to support the child for whom he is claiming paternity. By registering with the state, the father ensures he will be notified of any legal actions involving the custody of the child.
An action to establish paternity and obtain your rights as a father is different than a paternity action brought by the Florida Department of Revenue. When the Department of Revenue seeks to establish paternity, the sole purpose is to obtain a child support order. If the Department of Revenue establishes paternity, the court will only enter a child support order and no other paternal rights will be established, including a parenting plan or visitation rights. All other rights must be established independent of the Department of Revenue action.
Declaring your rights as a father is a serious and time sensitive matter and can affect the future for yourself and your child. If you have any concerns related to establishing paternity for your child, please contact me at 407-233-3210 or 888-778-7638 toll free for a free consultation where we can discuss your legal options in a confidential setting.
Orlando Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support Lawyer
Central Florida Criminal Law And Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support Attorney Serving Osceola, Orlando And Orange County. Committed. Skilled. Fair legal services.
FAILED A DRUG TEST WHILE ON PROBATION? I CAN HELP!
Accusations of probation violations have serious consequences, but you are not helpless to their consequences. You can fight back.
Contact the Law Office of Jessica Travis, P.A., in Orlando, Florida, and I can meet with you confidentially, discuss your options and help you limit — or eliminate — any negative consequences of an alleged probation violation.