Tampa divorce lawyer

Common Questions Regarding Family Law – Part I

The most frequently asked questions on custody and timesharing. 

“Can I get full custody of my child?”

For some reason I get asked this question all the time.  The answer is no.  The answer will always be no.  In fact, the word “custody” was removed completely from the Florida Statutes several years ago and no one in Florida is awarded “custody” of a child in any family law case.  Each parent has been granted a constitutional right to be a parent to their child by the United States Supreme Court.  The family law court in Florida is a court of equity, not a court of justice, and it will grant a time sharing schedule for each parent that the judge believes is in the best interest of your child.  Each parent is getting as much time sharing as possible unless you can prove that the parent is going to harm the child in some way.

“If I can’t get full custody, then what will I get?”

Most parents agree to a parenting plan and time sharing schedule that is going to work best for their family. If you and you ex cannot come to an agreement, then a judge will make the decision for you.  You will present your evidence at a trial and the judge will determine what time sharing schedule is in the child’s best interest.  What that specific schedule looks like varies wildly on a case by case basis.  A very traditional time sharing schedule is where one parent has the child the majority of the time and the other parent gets every other weekend time sharing.  This schedule is something we used to see on a regular basis about 10 years ago.  However, most judges these days no longer award an every other weekend schedule.  In my experience, most judges want to give each parent as much time as possible with the minor children.

“What is a 50/50 schedule?”

More and more I am seeing judges enter 50/50 time sharing schedules.  There has been a sea change all across Florida that promotes an equal time sharing schedule for both parents.  The most common 50/50 schedule is where the parents rotate time sharing with the child every other week.  There are many other variations of a 50/50 schedule that are available and are often ordered by judges in Florida.

If you have questions about custody or a time sharing schedule or require legal assistance in other areas of Family Law you may always contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected].