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When Is Sole Custody Appropria...

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When Is Sole Custody Appropriate in a Custody Case or Divorce

Florida Statute 61.13 is the Florida Statute that deals with custody. Currently, the appropriate terms under Florida law regarding custody are time sharing, parenting, and parenting plan. Florida Statute 61.13 states that the court shall order that parental responsibility for a minor child be shared by both parents unless the court finds that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child.

The evidence that a parent has been convicted of a misdemeanor of the first degree or higher involving domestic violence, as defined in Florida Statute section 741.28 and Florida Statute chapter 775, or meets the criteria of Florida Statute section 39.806(1)(d), creates a rebuttable presumption of detriment to the child. If the presumption is not rebutted after the convicted parent is advised by the court that the presumption exists, shared parental responsibility, including time-sharing with the child, and decisions made regarding the child, may not be granted to the convicted parent. However, the convicted parent is not relieved of any obligation to provide financial support. That parent still must pay child support.

If the court determines that shared parental responsibility would be detrimental to the child, it may order sole parental responsibility and make such arrangements for time-sharing as specified in the parenting plan as will best protect the child or abused spouse from further harm.

Whether or not there is a conviction of any offense of domestic violence or child abuse or the existence of an injunction for protection against domestic violence, the court shall consider evidence of domestic violence or child abuse as evidence of detriment to the child.

Sole custody may be appropriate when:

1. The other parent is unfit under Florida Statute chapter 39.806(1)(d) due to abuse, abandonment, or neglect. You may read this Florida Statute section for the specifics of what constitutes abuse, abandonment, and neglect. You may see if those elements pertain to your case.

2. The other parent has mental health issues that interfere with his/her ability to properly care for the child.

3. The other parent has a drug or alcohol addiction that affects his/her ability to properly parent the child.

If you have more questions regarding an Orlando Marital and Family Law matter, you may call Ann Marie Giordano Gilden at Ann Marie Giordano Gilden, P.A. at 407-732-7620; and you may set an initial consultation.

This article is for informational purposes only; and it does not form an attorney client privilege.

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