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Child Custody - The Process Of Obtaining Custody Of Your Children

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By Author: Grant Gisondo
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For the most part, the term “child custody” is no longer used to determine the care and nurturing of minor children following a divorce or separation. A couple does not need to have been married or even lived together to be deemed legally responsible for a minor child. A minor child is a child born to a couple from birth to age l8 and beyond when special circumstances arise. These circumstances can include mental and or physical conditions which prevent a child from being self-supported. Legally adopted children also fall under the minor child ruling.

In most states, including Florida, instead of the term “child custody,” the term “parental time-sharing” is used to define how minor children will be nurtured and cared for. Minor children will stay, including overnights, with each parent in as equal an amount of time as workable. A parenting plan will be drawn up describing how certain issues will be handled and is different for each set of parents. Some of the concerns addressed in a parenting plan can include how and where will holidays (including the child’s birthday) be spent; who cares for the child ...
... when neither parent is able to; how, when, and where will the child be transferred from one parent to the other; how will parents communicate with each other and with the child; who will pay for extracurricular activities or daycare when needed? Additionally, neither parent is to make major decisions for the child in the areas of education, medical, discipline, and religion without the notification and agreement of the other parent.

While the awarding of primary custody or sole custody of a child to one party or a third party, such as a grandparent, is rare, it is still sometimes done. There are several reasons this type of custody may occur when either or both parents:
• Are incarcerated
• Are on drugs or alcohol, which significantly affects their ability to parent
• Are or have been convicted of child abuse or a domestic violence charge
• Are physically ill and cannot care for the child appropriately
• Have mental issues which prevent caring for the child

If any of the above issues regarding the need for primary or sole custody exist, it will be necessary to provide evidence to the court proving the situation is true. It is most likely the person hoping for custody will need the representation of a competent Family Law lawyer to make sure the proof is adequate and genuine. The lawyer will know the latest rules governing child custody and the best way to present the case to a judge.

In Florida, for example, the motto for Family Court is to make decisions for minor children “in the best interest of the child.” So it is that a judge will examine each case requesting primary or sole custody under a microscope. In all but the worst-case scenarios, a child is best nurtured and cared for by both parents, and a judge does their best to make this happen.

More About the Author

Grant J. Gisondo is the founder of Grant J. Gisondo, P.A. to focus his practice on family and marital law with offices in West Palm Beach serving Palm Beach County, Martin County, Saint Lucie County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Hillsborough and Orange County. Grant J. Gisondo. P.A. is a Board Certified Family Attorney in Palm Beach Gardens FL

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