An Overview

Married parents are each presumed to have full authority over their mutual children. This means that a wife is entitled to 100% custody while a husband is also entitled to 100% custody. In a healthy, happy, marriage this apparent dichotomy works well – but only for so long as the marriage remains harmonious. Sadly, when a marriage is “broken”, so that wife and husband no longer agree, their simultaneous authority over the children becomes untenable – and conditions are ripe for harmful conflict. All too often the conflict is allowed to endure while the children suffer from a custodial tug of war. In such case, legal action becomes necessary in order to differentiate the rights of the parents to exercise parental authority and custody.

Whether parents are married or unmarried, the decisive issue in any case involving parental responsibilities and timesharing is: “What is in the best interests of the children”? Among the factors listed at §61.13(3), Florida Statutes, to be considered by the court in evaluating “best interests” is the disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent. It is critical that a parent facing conflict over custody, parental responsibility or visitation seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney.

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Call 850.864.1951

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