We have Attorneys in Tallahassee and Ft Walton Beach to assist with your family law and criminal law needs. Family law includes divorce, child support, child visitation, paternity and more while criminal law covers arrests for misdemeanor charges, drug charges, felonies, violation of probation and more.
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In Florida, the parties usually share parental responsibility of the minor child(ren). In general, this means that they both share in the major decisions regarding the child(ren)'s welfare, and both have access to the child(ren)'s school and medical records, etc. It is advisable that the parties come to an agreement as to the parental schedule of the child(ren). In Florida, the terms custody and visitation are not normally used any longer. The courts see parents as equally capable of being parents and it is only a parenting schedule that needs to be determined. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, than the court may employ a social investigation or psychological evaluation to determine the situation, setting and schedule for the child(ren). In this situation, a neutral party or psychologist evaluates the parties, children, and others familiar with the parties' circumstances and prepares a report which is submitted to the Court. Usually the Court will follow the recommendations contained within the report. Alternatively, the parties may allow the Court to determine the parenting schedule arrangements.
Child support is calculated by a Child Support Guidelines Worksheet which essentially uses the parties' net income after taxes and other allowable deductions. If the parties have minor child(ren), than a Financial Affidavit and Guidelines Worksheet must be filed with the Court before the parties can obtain a divorce. Another requirement before a divorce can be obtained is that both of the parties must complete a three-hour parenting class as required by statute. Child support modification can be a difficult process and can take from a month to several months. It involves the same process as filing for a divorce, such as filing a petition and serving the other party as well as filing for discovery. Change in parenting schedules, like child support modification, involves the same process as a divorce. The major difference is there must be a substantial change in circumstances for the Court to grant the change, for example: one parent not exercising parenting time with the children or a child having failing grades. This also takes from a month to several months.