Seasoned Delray Beach Child Custody Attorney Protects Parental Bonds
Experienced Florida lawyer works to achieve time-sharing agreements that benefit all parties
Every family is different, and so is every child custody case. At Miller Morse Law PLLC in Delray Beach, Florida, we represent parents in custody matters, known in Florida as time-sharing arrangements, and help them develop parenting plan schedules that allow them to spend quality time with their children. Well-regarded in the courts of Palm Beach County and the surrounding areas, our firm advocates for clients and their children, whether parents seek shared or sole custody.
Proven advocate explains how courts determine custody arrangements
The overriding concern for family court judges in custody cases is determining what would be in the child’s best interest. To accomplish that, judges weigh a number of factors, including parental fitness, the child’s school and home history, the existing parent-child relationships, each parent’s involvement in the child’s life and each parent’s demonstrated ability to cooperate with the other parent.
As a dedicated family law firm, we have significant experience advising parents about what they should expect from a custody hearing and helping to prepare them to make their case.
Skilled time-sharing attorney helps Palm Beach County parents draft parenting time schedules
There are two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody gives parents the authority to make decisions about the child’s welfare, education, religion and medical care. Physical custody determines where the child lives. Each type of custody can be shared by parents or awarded to only one parent:
- Joint legal custody — Referred to as “shared parental responsibility” in Florida, joint legal custody is preferred by the courts, since this arrangement allows both parents to take an active role in determining how the child is raised.
- Sole legal custody — In certain situations, parents may seek sole legal custody. This gives one parent the right to make decisions about the child’s upbringing and way of life without considering input from the other parent.
- Joint physical custody — In this arrangement, the child spends a substantial amount of time living with each parent, with the proximity between parental homes an important factor in determining how a child will split time between the homes. Joint physical custody is a more viable option when parents live in the same school district and the child can move from one home to the other without disrupting their schedule.
- Sole physical custody — When courts award physical custody to only one parent, the noncustodial parent usually maintains visitation rights unless contact is perceived as potentially harmful to the child. The noncustodial parent may also be ordered to pay child support.
Parents who have shared parental responsibility are encouraged to collaborate to create a time-sharing agreement. A court can approve the agreement so that terms for custody and visitation are legally enforceable. If parents cannot come to agreements without intervention from the court, a court order will determine each parent’s rights. At Miller Morse Law, we can advise on resources to help you navigate the custody process, including counseling for you and your children, parenting classes, peer groups and financial planning.
Determined counselor helps with court petitions for custody modifications
In Florida, a custody order remains valid until the child’s eighteenth birthday, but there may be circumstances where a parent seeks to change it. The only way to change the order is by petitioning for a modification. Because the initial order is based on a thorough review of the family’s circumstances, there must be a “substantial, material, and unanticipated” change in those circumstances for a judge to decide that a modification is in the child’s best interest. This type of change may occur when a parent relocates, making it difficult or impossible to uphold the agreed-upon parenting time schedule. We assist clients who seek modifications of custody orders as well as those who oppose such changes.
Contact a reliable Delray Beach child custody lawyer to schedule your legal consultation
At Miller Morse Law PLLC, we approach each child custody case with compassion and determination. To schedule a consultation about your case, call us at 561-422-4832 or contact us online. Our office is located in Delray Beach, Florida, and we represent parents in and around Palm Beach County.