When determining custody in any divorce proceeding, the court’s main concern is for the wellbeing of the child. When looking out for the child’s best interests, courts will always attempt to achieve a 50/50 split in custody whenever safe and reasonable.
There are situations in which a couple may be in agreement as to why one parent would be the primary caregiver over another. These reasons are generally concerning work schedules and the parent’s daily availability to the child. In these cases, there is no issue and you can submit the agreed-upon custody arrangement to the courts in your filing.
However, if there is disagreement about the custody arrangement for reasons that do not pertain to the child’s safety (such as in cases of domestic violence, etc.), it is very uncommon for the court to grant a special custody order. In these cases, it is very common for parents in a “custody battle” to wind up in the same position they started in, before litigation.
If there are less dramatic concerns for the child’s wellbeing, but a couple is arguing over custody because of work schedules, etc. It is more advisable (and more affordable) to work out these issues outside of the courtroom, whenever possible.
If you have concerns about the custody arrangement, speaking about those concerns with your attorney in a transparent manner is the best way to evaluate your best options.
For the most part, custody can be quite simple: What’s in the best interest of the child?
The court says that both parents being involved is in the best interest of the child unless one of the parents is a danger to the child. Therefore, unless there are extenuating circumstances, that will be the outcome that the court will look for.
This kind of outcome may not be possible if there is a parent who will be living further away, will not have adequate time to care for the child, or may be dangerous. However, it is always the easiest option to attempt to evaluate these issues and handle them outside of litigation whenever possible.
Who Is Generally Responsible For Child Support And How Are Those Figures Calculated?
Child support responsibility is based on a wide range of factors. These determinations are made based on details such as: Who has been the primary breadwinner in the marriage? Who makes the most money? Who will be the primary caregiver, or spending the most time with the child?
Because of the factors used to determine who is responsible for child support and the amount due, every situation is different.
Considering that the majority of divorces end in 50/50 child custody, there is generally a much smaller amount of child support that is ordered. This is mainly in consideration of the fact that both parents are spending equal time with their child and providing resources for them throughout. The only situations in which this may differ tend to be when one parent’s income is substantially larger than the other’s.
It is important to remember that whatever your custody arrangement is, one parent will likely be responsible for paying child support. This is because child support is meant to be paid in the interest of the child’s wellbeing, and therefore parents are generally not able to waive that requirement.
In the state of Florida, the child support formula is referred to as the Child Support Guidelines. When using this formula, both parents submit financial affidavits that break down their income, expenses, and assets. These affidavits give a picture of each parents’ overall net worth.
The numbers taken from the affidavits are then “plugged in” to the Child Support Guidelines formula, in addition to the percentage of time that each parent spends with the child. The formula then calculates a number based on state law, and this number is the sum amount of child support due monthly.
Some factors may change the way child support payments are calculated such as impending retirements and upcoming pay cuts. These issues can be brought up and dealt with on a case-by-case basis. However, these situations are not the norm.
Overall, child support guidelines in the state of Florida are fairly strict and are not negotiated, but determined by the law.
For more information on Family Law in Florida, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (407) 305-5599 today.