The first thing people worry about when they get divorced is what will happen with their children: Will they still get to spend quality time with their kids? In most cases today, judges deem time with both parents to be essential to a child's growth and development. Gone are the days when the mother always got custody and the father got to see his kids on a weekend or holiday.

As the principal and founder of Zachary A. VanDyke, P.A., in Panama City, I have helped hundreds of parents over the past decade get time-sharing arrangements that make sense.

How Is Custody Determined?

There are two types of custody in Florida: legal and physical. These can be shared jointly by both parents (joint custody) or they can involve the child living with only one parent who is also making all the decisions about the child's well-being (sole custody).

  • Legal custody determines who has the right and responsibility to make decisions regarding the child's religious upbringing, education and health care.
  • Physical custody refers to which parent the child lives with.

Custody can be shared or sole. Overwhelmingly in today's divorces, both parents share these rights and responsibilities. It is not unusual for a child to live mainly with one parent for school purposes, and then spend a significant amount of time with the other parent as their schedule permits.

Parents do not have to rely on the courts and judges to create parenting plans. They can, with the assistance of their lawyers, create and agree to their own parenting plan. How much a parent pays in child support is determined by Florida's child support guidelines.

Generally only in cases of child abuse, neglect, addiction or incarceration is one parent denied any type of custody or visitation.

Create A Parenting Plan That Works Today

I offer a low cost initial consultation so that you can get your child custody or other family legal issue questions answered. Call 850-215-6445 or send me an introductory email via this website, and I will reach out to you. Se habla español.