Divorce, Custody & Paternity

Divorce is a painful and time-consuming process that involves a lot of difficult decision-making. Each and every aspect of a divorce can be contentious: from child custody and timesharing issues to equitable distribution and alimony. For support through this difficult process, look to Niki T. Marshall of Marshall Law.

Child Custody In Florida

Florida’s approach to visitation to child custody is different than that typically pursued in other states. In Florida, the focus is not on custody, but rather, time sharing. Parents can be awarded sole parental responsibility, which is, in many respects, comparable to a typical sole custody arrangement. In many situations, a parent may be given responsibility of his or her children for the majority of the time, with the other parent taking over for a few hours each week or a few days each month. This is referred to as majority time sharing, a term that is used in place of visitation and primary custody. If both parents spend equal amounts of time with their children, their setup is labeled equal time sharing. Sharing arrangements are typically outlined in parenting plans, which also may include provisions for holiday time sharing, contact between parents, education and extracurricular activities.

Establishing And Disputing Paternity

Without legal designation as a parent, it can be difficult for a  Florida father to achieve significant time sharing opportunities after his relationship with the mother has fallen apart. This is especially true for relationships that did not involve marriage. To obtain time sharing rights, fathers must legally be considered parents, either via court order or through a paternity agreement. While many fathers go to great lengths to establish paternity, others seek to dispute it, as they may otherwise be required to pay child support. This is a common problem among fathers who have dissolved their marriages due to infidelity — even if they are not actually the biological father of a child, they are presumed the legal father because they were married to the mother at the time of the child’s birth. Such fathers are encouraged to file paternity actions, which may involve the use of DNA testing.

Compassionate Divorce Representation At Marshall Law

A number of complex arrangements must be ironed out during the marriage dissolution process — and this is even more complicated if children are involved. The right divorce attorney can ease this burden by offering targeted advice about family law in the state of Florida. For all matters related to divorce, time sharing and paternity, look to trusted family lawyer Niki T. Marshall.