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    Child Custody Legal Services for Men in Pensacola, FL

    For fathers in Pensacola, child custody and visitation are some of the most contentious issues when it comes to their kids. These issues can become highly emotional and extremely expensive to resolve. The subsequent fighting ends up affecting the child’s relationship with both parents.
    The Concept of Child Custody in Florida

    Under Florida law, there is no such thing as “child custody”. Instead, the parents have a “time­sharing” agreement on how much time each parent will have with the child.

    Since Florida law does not recognize “child custody”, the concepts of sole custody and joint custody are also not recognized. Instead, “sole custody” is known as “majority time­sharing” and “joint custody” is “equal time­sharing”.

    How is the Time­Sharing Agreement Decided?

    When a couple files for divorce or a parent files a paternity action, the courts will place a temporary order for time­sharing. This temporary order is only in effect until all legal actions are resolved and final orders are issued.

    The courts encourage parents to negotiate a time­sharing agreement that is in the best interests of the child. However, if the parents cannot come to an agreement, the courts can step in and create a time­sharing order that both parents must abide by.

    A time­sharing agreement is often part of a larger parenting plan. The plan includes how the parents will handle day­to­day activities, who is responsible for health care decisions, who is responsible for education­related decisions, and how parents will communicate with the child, along with the exact time­sharing arrangement.

    The courts will not order supervised visitation or no visitation, except for extreme circumstances. Some situations where either might be granted include when one parent has severe, untreated mental illness, a parent has an active drug or alcohol abuse problem or a parent has abused or neglected a child.

    How is Child Support Affected by the Time­Sharing Agreement?

    For fathers in Pensacola, child custody issues directly affect child support payments. The more nights a child spends with a parent, the less child support will need to be paid to the other parent. The exact amount of child support is determined by the total net income of both parents. That amount is split between the two parents, based on the proportion of their income to the net total income. Then, that amount is adjusted by the amount of nights a child spends with each parent.

    Time­sharing agreements may be modified at any time. Most of the time, however, the courts will not consider a modification unless an unforeseen, substantial change occurs and the change is for the benefit of the child.

    For fathers in Pensacola, child custody questions can get complicated. Contact Kenny Leigh & Associates for advice.