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The Byrd Law Firm, P.A.


The Byrd Law Firm P.A. is located in Sarasota, Florida and has been providing legal services to residents of Sarasota, Bradenton & Venice for the past 13 years.

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Divorce Blog Post

Courts Strive for Joint Custody When Possible

When the courts in Florida consider granting custody of one daughter to a father who is facing child abuse charges for acts against another daughter, you know that the conventions of divorce have changed. Once upon a time, it was a given that after a divorce the children would live with the mother. The father would visit at agreed-upon intervals. For better or worse, this style of custody division is no longer the norm.

With a rise in equality for fathers’ custody rights, some men may wonder if they can get full custody. There have been many changes in policy, culture and legal language that help ensure that the relationships between fathers and children are regarded with the same level of import as with mothers. While it is less likely for a judge to blindly award a mother full custody, it is also quite unlikely for either parent to receive full custody. As of the 2010 US Census, only one out of six custodial parents was the father.

Florida has some unique legal language surrounding custody. For example, you may hear the word timesharing instead of custody. This word is used on the principle that the best arrangement is the one that focuses on the best interests of the child. This usually involves active engagement by both parents in a joint custody agreement.

Generally, it’s difficult for a father to prove that the mother has done something that warrants loss of custody. With increased equality between parents, it follows logically that there is a decrease in sole custody arrangements. For full custody, it is not enough to be an excellent father. You must be able to prove that the mother is not able to care properly for the child.

Because each case is different, every decision regarding child custody is unique. Parents are encouraged to work together to create a parenting plan that outlines each partner’s responsibilities, rights and timesharing details. Maybe you are struggling to come to agreeable terms with an ex, or maybe you are concerned that timesharing is not in the best interests of your children.  When it comes to your children’s wellbeing, it’s important to understand your options by speaking with a lawyer who can help you assess your situation.

One Comment

  1. avatar brittanya brower
    Posted June 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I completely disagree with the title of this blog post. Florida courts Do Not in any way strive for joint custody. Title IV-D does not encourage them to have the childrens best interest in mind. It grants to state of FL, as well as all of the other ones $$$ for each dollar they collect in child support. Child Support amounts are based on both parents wages and time sharing. Give the children to the mother who by history will make less per hour than her male counterpart, thus giving the father less time sharing time, means more child support $ paid and more grant $ received from the Federal Government. Hundreds if not thousands of fathers in Florida have been denied equal time sharing, have been forced into long drawn out, expensive, life altering family court cases, where in most cases, the mother can do no wrong, and the father is demonized from the get go. And who losees the most? The children,like my husbands developmentally delayed child. My husband had a case out of Pasco County. His rights were infringed upon, the laws were bent and blatantly disregarded in many points in the Final Judgement the first Judge handed down. 4 years later, after almost bankrupting our family, causing us to move to FL to handle the case and then back home to CA where we live when things didnt work out in FL, my husband has had 1 Final Judgement/Parenting Plan reversed, a reasonable support amount established (one that is in w/in the legal limits, not the original 60% of his income) , and hasnt seen or heard from his child in 9 months. Despite being in his childs life from the moment he was told he was conceived and paying child support every month, the mother had more $$$ to afford more motions and more attorneys and my husband has lost everything. And this is the norm when talking to fathers in Florida who just want to be in their childrens lives. Its deplorable that there are not Legal Aid attorneys in EVERY county of Florida (there are NONE in Pascco Co) to assist low income fathers in their fight to remain in their childrens lives FULL TIME.

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The Byrd Law Firm P.A.
2151 Main Street, Suite 201
Sarasota, Florida, 34237 USA