In divorce proceedings, the court is the final arbiter of child custody. The court can also be the final arbiter when non-married couples seek to establish the rights and responsibilities of each parent. Florida law prefers that both parents work together to raise a child. That is true even when the parents’ marriage dissolves or they were never married and the relationship ends.
Florida law makes “no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.” (Fl. Stat. sec. 61.13(2)(c)(1)). A parenting plan is a document created to govern the relationship between the parents on decisions that must be made regarding the minor child. This agreement must contain a time-sharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parents, including their historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration. (Fl. Stat. sec. 61.046(14))
But there are more than state courts that deal with child custody issues in Florida. There are tribal courts which rule on matters that occur on tribal lands. For example, in Miami there is a dispute over whether the Florida state court or the Miccosukee tribal court has authority to determine the custody of two children.Read More