How Does Domestic Violence Affect Child Custody in Florida?
This question, how does domestic violence affect child custody in Florida, is asked more often than would make most people feel comfortable. Nevertheless, we must recognize the impact of domestic violence on relationships, both marital and parental. Generally speaking, Florida courts default to the position that every minor child should have continual and recurrent communications with both parents. This is otherwise known as shared parental responsibility. The word shared is included because it is easier to raise a child when there is a mutual support system. Whether we think about it from a biological standpoint, a common-sense standpoint, or a philosophical perspective, raising a child with both parents caring and nurturing can have a wide variety of benefits for the minor child. This is why Florida considers shared parenting to be its public policy. How does domestic violence affect child custody in Florida? By allowing the court to intervene when evidence is presented of a potential detriment to the child. This is another reason why we have child custody laws in Florida, as they govern the conduct of people if there is a serious enough situation requiring the court’s awareness and guidance.
Moreover, in all fairness, the court does not presume that any proportion of time sharing (80-20% or 50-50%) is best for the child. The parents have some latitude to solve their own issues by working together at mediation.
Child Custody Law in Florida
Here is where conflict and acrimony between the parties can impact a court’s award of timesharing between the parents. According to child custody law in Florida, the court may, after the presentation of evidence, find that one or both parents being involved in the child’s life would present a detriment to the child.
For example, if one side can present evidence that the other parent has been convicted of a crime, specifically a first-degree misdemeanor or a felony which involved domestic violence, the evidentiary standards shifts and the burden shifts to the guilty party. The convicted party must rebut the presumption that he/she is a detriment to the child’s well-being. If the convicted parent is unable to successfully rebut the presumption, then he/she will not be allowed shared parental responsibility. Consequently, to protect the minor child, the court may decide to grant sole parental responsibility to the non-guilty parent. I hope this has at least partially answered your question of how does domestic violence affect child custody in Florida. This is yet another reason you should contact an attorney to help you argue your case and present evidence to the court.
Learn more about other types of alimony in Florida: Durational alimony, women paying men alimony, alimony factors, short term alimony, permanent alimony, and rehabilitative alimony. In fact, we have a page entirely dedicated to discussing and explaining alimony in Florida. This process can be eye-opening! Keep in mind that to establish jurisdiction in a Florida Court for child custody, you must satisfy the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
What about child support health insurance? Divorce mediation? We address those topics as well. Family law is in some ways under the vast umbrella of Florida civil litigation. Civil litigation involves non-criminal lawsuits and can involve a great deal of time and money at issue.