Advice to Parents In Divorce and Paternity Cases: Custody Law Is About the Best Interest of the Children

By Orlando Divorce Attorney Eduardo J. Mejias

  Practicing Exclusively Family Law Since 2011


Focus On Which Custody Time Sharing Plan Is In The Best Interest of The Children

Florida family law on divorce and paternity considers the legal standard for relocation or custody time sharing plans to be: which plan is in the best interests of the children.

However, most divorcing parents, ex-spouses involved in a relocation case, or unmarried parents engaged in a paternity matter, have difficulty maintaining objectivity due to the highly emotional situation they find themselves in. Parents let emotion cloud their judgment during divorce and paternity cases, even when they are otherwise reasonable and intelligent people.

The overpowering emotions of bitterness and distrust cause most parents to overemphasize the past and overlook the future. Constant critiques of former spouses or partners is not in the litigants own interest or the interest of their children. Eventually, the bitterness that these parents display, if left unchecked, will harm them in family court. This is why I counsel my clients to focus on making their proposed parenting time sharing plan or relocation request one that is in the best interest of the children.

Family court judges interpret petty complaints as signs of the parent’s unwillingness to foster a meaningful relationship between the children and the allegedly awful opposing parent. In divorce and paternity cases one factor in the family court's decision about time sharing of child custody and their child support payments is the willingness of each parent to foster a meaningful relationship between the children and the other parent.  This is because that type of relationship is in best interests of the children.

I am not declaring that all of past misdeeds are irrelevant. Certain parental acts or omissions (such as domestic violence, true neglect or abandonment) do indeed matter. Putting those exceptions aside, in any type of divorce and paternity litigation you will secure better judgments at trial when your arguments are more future-oriented and positive.

When I help clients construct a locally-based parenting plan, or an out-of-state relocation schedule, I advise them to ask themselves this: “How will this plan or schedule benefit my children in the future?”  The focus should never be: “How does this parenting plan reward me or punish my former spouse?” Remember, it is all about the best interests of the children.

Call AAA Family Law For An Initial Consultation

If you are involved a situation that could lead to a family law litigation, I encourage you to call AAA Family Law at (407) 260-6001 and schedule an initial consultation.  During the consultation I will listen to your description of the family law situation that brought you into my office.  Then I will present you with an outline of a legal plan of action that is geared to achieve your objectives. Lastly I will quote you a total fixed attorney retainer fee, not an hourly rate whose total you cannot predict. 

These are the ranges of attorney retainer fees for the types of divorce and paternity cases.  The amount of the actual fee within these 
rages will depend on the degree of complexity of your case.

Contested Divorce Up to Mediation: $2,000 to $3,000. (An additional retainer amount is set before a trial if there is a trial.)
Uncontested Divorce:                         $1,000 to $1,500.
Paternity Cases Up to Mediation      : $1,750 to $2,500.  (An additional retainer amount is set before a trial if there is a trial.)
 

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