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Family Law


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Custody Of My Kids
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How Do I Win Custody Of My Kids?

Secure Your Child’s Future By Winning Their Custody!

Worried about how to win custody of your kids? Finding a lawyer for child custody right away is a critical step. When you’re facing the difficult journey of a custody battle, understanding all the legal rules and how to present your case may feel overwhelming. 

With so much at stake, having a capable attorney by your side is essential. They know how the system works and can guide you through each step, ensuring you and your children’s needs are front and center.

Quick Summary:

  • Full or sole custody means the child resides with you only, and you have the ultimate decision-making power.
  • In Florida, the default position is to grant joint custody based on the principle of continuous parent-child contact, cases where close interaction is not safe or beneficial might be considered for full custody.
  • Effective loss of parental rights can occur under certain circumstances. Detailed proof is needed to establish the unfitness of the other parent to gain full custody.
  • There are two types of custody in Florida proceedings: parental responsibility (or legal custody) and parenting time (or physical custody).
  • The court follows the research-backed belief that maintaining strong connections with both parents is in the children’s best interest, making full custody tough to achieve.
  • Several “best interest factors” are taken into account when making custody decisions, including parental stability, history of abuse or neglect, substance abuse issues, and child’s preference.
  • Full custody generally remains in effect until the child turns 18, but petitions for modification could be filed by either parent to illustrate significant, substantial changes.
  • Collecting evidence and legal representation is crucial to prepare for a custody battle. The process involves filing a petition, paying fees, serving the petition to the other parent, awaiting their response, and attending court hearings.

What is Full Custody?

Full custody, also termed “sole custody,” means that you hold the ultimate decision-making power for your child. The child also resides with you only. Remember that the main intent of family laws is to ensure that a child maintains regular contact with both parents.

What Does the State of Florida Say About Full Custody?

In Florida, the default position for the courts is to grant joint custody. That is based on the principle that a child should have continuous contact with both parents. However, there could be cases where close interaction with the other parent might not prove safe or beneficial for the child. Full custody might be considered in such instances.

When Could You Ask for Full Custody?

You could have grounds to seek full custody if you can prove that shared custody could put your child in harm’s way. The other parent might be seen as unfit due to a variety of situations, including substance abuse, a history of neglect or abuse, attempts to flee the state with the child, a disability preventing them from caring for the child, or defiant non-adherence to a visitation schedule.

Suppose the court determines that shared custody arrangements could harm the child’s well-being. In that case, it may award full custody without visitation rights to the other parent or under a controlled visitation arrangement, securing the child’s safety.

How Can Parental Rights Be Terminated?

Effective loss of parental rights can occur under certain circumstances. For instance, if a parent willingly forgoes their rights, if the parent puts the child in clear danger, or if the parent is serving a term of incarceration expected to run through a significant part of the child’s minority.

What Evidence is Needed to Gain Full Custody?

The court will want detailed proof to establish the unfitness of the other parent. Evidence could involve public criminal records, police reports, videos or recorded conversations, written threats, the testimony of eyewitnesses, or evaluations by licensed psychologists.

What are the Types of Custody in Florida?

Two types of custody come into play in a Florida proceeding:

  • Parental responsibility, also known as legal custody, determines who can make decisions about the child.
  •  Parenting time, also known as physical custody or visitation, determines how much time the child spends with each parent.

Each parent is generally awarded equal parental responsibility unless it’s proven that it would harm the child if the other parent possesses decision-making authority. The court can award sole parental responsibility to one parent but can still grant visitation rights to both.

Why is Full Custody Hard to Get in Florida?

Obtaining full custody of a child in Florida, just like in many other jurisdictions, can be tough. This is because the court follows the research-backed belief that maintaining strong connections with both parents is generally in children’s best interest. Thus, a parent seeking full custody must prove that a real danger exists for the child with the other parent.

What Changed in Florida Laws About Full Custody?

The rules around custody can evolve. As of mid-2023, Florida law leans toward a belief that children enjoy spending equal time with both parents unless shown otherwise. If you believe that’s not in your child’s best interest, you must present solid evidence to back that belief.

What Factors Do Courts Look At?

Florida courts take several “best interest factors” into account when making custody decisions:

  • Parental Stability: Courts prefer environments where a parent is consistently present and can provide a stable home.
  • History of Abuse or Neglect: Any past behavior that has harmed the child physically or emotionally is critical.
  • Substance Abuse Issues: If a parent struggles with drugs or alcohol, that could impact their ability to provide a safe environment for the child.
  • Child’s Preference: If the child is old enough, their preference might influence the court’s decision, as long as it’s in the child’s best interest.

Remember, every case is different. Various other factors might also be relevant to your situation.

How Can Fathers Get Full Custody?

For fathers pursuing full custody, debunking stereotypes and biases is crucial. Show that you’re the most fitting parent to meet your child’s needs, provide a loving home, and focus on their interests. Despite older beliefs, Florida doesn’t favor mothers over fathers in custody cases.

How Do Mothers Get Full Custody?

Mothers face their own set of challenges, often tied to work-life balance or caregiving expectations. Demonstrating that you are the best-equipped parent to ensure the child’s welfare and stability is key to presenting a strong case for full custody.

What Situations May Lead to Full Custody for a Parent?

Certain scenarios might tip the scales in favor of full custody:

  • Domestic Violence: Evidence of physical abuse could be a deciding factor.
  • Neglect: Failing to meet the child’s basic needs consistently can influence a custody decision.
  • Sexual Abuse: A parent guilty of such behavior is likely to lose custody rights.
  • Substance Abuse: A parent who cannot reliably care for their child due to addiction issues may not be awarded custody.
  • Consistent Absence: A parent who is repeatedly absent or involved might be seen as unfit.

Can Full Custody Impact Child Support?

Remember that losing custody doesn’t excuse the other parent from their child support obligations. No ongoing child support obligation typically exists if the parent’s parental rights are terminated.

Is Full Custody Permanent?

Full custody generally remains in effect until the child turns 18. However, petitions for modification could be filed by either parent. These must illustrate a significant, substantial, and unexpected change in circumstances. The court then weighs the child’s best interests before determining any change.

How to Prepare for a Custody Battle

Preparation is vital. Collecting evidence related to your case, like reports from authorities or medical records, is necessary. Legal representation can help you navigate the process and present your case effectively.

What is the Process to Get Full Custody?

  • File a Petition: You must file paperwork with the local county clerk.
  • Pay the Fees: There are fees associated with filing which you’ll need to pay upfront.
  • Serve the Petition: The other parent must be notified of your petition.
  • Await Their Response: They’ll have enough time to reply or request more.
  • Court Hearings: If everything is contested, the case will go through hearings, which may include mediation efforts.

Contact Our Child Custody Lawyer in Florida Now!

When it comes to winning custody of your kids, a knowledgeable lawyer for child custody is indispensable. Figueroa Law Group shines with over 36 years of combined experience and comprehensive mastery of family law, including: 

That makes us a dynamic choice for your legal needs. Our dedication to personalized service, thorough preparation, and client-focused strategies ensure we stand by your side every step of the way.

Ready to take action for your family? Contact us, and let us lead the way to a positive resolution for you and your loved ones.

Facing Divorce or other family law matters? We can help!

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