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Home » Legal » Family-law » Types of Custody Agreements in a Florida Divorce

Jeff Miller.
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Types of Custody Agreements in a Florida Divorce

Submitted by Jeff Miller.
Tue, 23 Oct 2012

If you and your spouse have a child together and you have decided to end your marriage, you will need to enter into a custody agreement. This custody agreement can be decided by a judge if the two of you are unable to agree. In almost every case, however, it is better to work together to create a parenting plan outside of court. An Orlando divorce attorney can assist you in negotiating a custody arrangement that works for your family, allowing you to save the time, expense and stress of asking a judge to decide. However, it is a good idea to learn about the different kinds of custody agreements that exist so you and your spouse have something to use as a starting point for negotiations.


Custody agreements in a Florida divorce can normally be classified into one of several different categories including:

  • Sole custody. A sole custody agreement is an agreement wherein one spouse has physical (and often legal) custody of a child and the other parent either has limited or no rights. Sole custody is not a common option since it is typically considered to be best for a child to have ongoing access to both parents. A sole custody agreement may be entered into when one parent doesn't want to maintain an ongoing relationship, or when one parent was abusive, neglectful or unfit to care for the child. It is important to realize that even if one parent has no visitation rights or access to the child, that parent may still be responsible for paying child support to the other parent with sole custody.

  • Primary custody. A primary custody agreement is a custody arrangement wherein one spouse has physical custody of the child for the majority of the time and the other parent has visits on a certain schedule. For example, in a primary custody situation, one parent may have the child live with him on a day-to-day basis. The other parent may see the child only on weekends or every other weekend; or may see the child only during the summer and certain school holidays.

  • Shared custody or joint custody. A shared custody or joint custody arrangement is often the best option for both parent and child. With this type of agreement, the child splits his or her time between both parents. The child may spend equal time with each, such as living with one parent one week and the other the next week, or may simply have regular access to both mom and dad.


When you and your spouse are splitting up, you should discuss each of the different types of custody arrangements and you should select the options that work best for your family. You should then work with your Orlando divorce lawyer to draft a detailed custody agreement specifying who will have the child at what times. Remember to consider both physical custody (where the child will live) and legal custody (who will make decisions for the child) when you are drafting your custody agreement.


If you are not able to agree, then the court will decide on a custody arrangement based on the best interests of the child. Your Orlando divorce lawyer will help you to prove your case, but this should be a last resort since a litigated custody dispute can be expensive and stressful for parents and children alike.

 

To learn more information about Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney, visit at: http://www.divorceyes.com/wordpress/category/fort-lauderdale-divorce-attorney/.


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