Are Child Custody, Visitation and Timesharing the Same?

Terminating a marriage that involves mutual children can bring about a lot of anxiety and uncertainty related to litigation when it comes time to decide where the children will live and under what circumstances they will see the other parent. Fortunately, a divorce decree is a helpful tool that sets in place certain child custody limitations and allowances for both custodial parents, all in the best interests’ of the children.

To help relieve such stress and confusion regarding your child custody divorce decree, it is helpful to understand the current and accepted terminology surrounding child custody cases. Many couples use the terms child custody, visitation, and timesharing, interchangeably, but these are not all current nor universally-accepted terms in the area of law.

Continue reading to learn the difference among child custody, visitation, and timesharing, as well as, where you can request personalized guidance for your family legal matters.

Orlando Child Custody Attorney
Orlando Child Custody Attorney 407-887-7058

Child Custody Legalese

Any type of legalese, or law-related jargon, can be confusing to the average person. So it is no surprise the parents find themselves in a panic when trying to understand the difference between visitation and timesharing. Are they the same thing? Is child custody different from visitation? These are all relative and pertinent questions you should be asking yourself when facing a divorce that involves sharing (or not sharing) child custody. That is because it is important to learn more about Florida child custody before entering into any agreement so that you can be better prepared for your hearing’s outcome.

Florida Uses the Term, Timesharing

Here in Florida, the accepted legal term is timesharing. The terms custody and visitation are no longer used by the courts. Instead, the Florida Statutes require that Courts implement a Parenting and Timesharing Plan for divorcing or separating married couples. There are two types of child custody that the state of Florida recognizes: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody refers to the actual residence of the child, whereas legal custody refers to who can make major decisions regarding a child’s upbringing. A Parenting and Timesharing Plan is intended to govern how a child’s time will be distributed between two custodial parents, as well as, how important decisions regarding a child’s life will be made.

Variable Custodial Arrangements

Although there are two primary categories of custody, there are several different kinds of custodial arrangements that can be made depending on family’s particular circumstances. For instance, both parents can share legal custody while one maintains primary physical custody and the other has timesharing rights, or one parent can have sole legal and physical custody. It is strongly encouraged to seek professional legal advice for your particular child custody legal matters in order to obtain the best possible outcome for you and your children.

Florida Child Custody Advice You Can Trust

Contact the Law Office of Shane T. Herbert at 407-887-7058 to get trusted legal advice regarding Florida child custody and related family matters. Family attorney, Shane T. Herbert, specializes in divorce, including collaborative divorce and child custody time-sharing. You can choose to have your first appointment over the phone or even video conference, if needed. If you choose an in-office visit, our Orlando family law office is conveniently located in the Metro West area, within the Offices of Veranda Park, which offers free parking.

Orlando Family Lawyer 407-887-7058
Shane T. Herbert Law 407-887-7058

Learn What You Need to Know About Legal Guardianship in Florida

Guardianship can refer to the legal custody of a non-biological child, disabled adult child, or an incapacitated adult. This generally becomes a litigious matter when a parent (or current caretaker) passes away or fails to meet the legal standards for guardianship. Common forms of establishing guardianship include adoption, foster care, and guardian ad litem (GAL), which is a court-appointed volunteer who represents the interests of a child. In other circumstances, individuals are looking to relinquish guardianship, emancipate themselves from guardianship, or protect themselves in cases of surrogacy and child reproductive rights.

Regardless of whatever guardianship matters come your way in life, it is wise to retain legal counsel from a seasoned Orlando family lawyer you can trust for intelligent and practical solutions that work for you.

Orlando Child Custody/Child Support Lawyer
Orlando Child Custody/Child Support Lawyer 407-887-7058

Who to Trust for Family Legal Advice

Here at the Law Office of Shane T. Herbert, we provide comprehensive guardianship legal representation for families of all types here in Orlando, Florida. From general guardianship actions and modifications, to adoption, foster care, emancipation, reproductive rights, surrogacy, custodial rights, and more, we are your trusted source for preserving your family’s best interests. Whether you wish to adopt your step-child, enter into a foster care initiative, or obtain guardianship for a senile parent with Alzheimer’s, our law firm retains the knowledge and means to ensure your case is as successful as possible.

Our primary guardianship practice areas include, but are not limited to, adoption, step-parent adoption, second parent adoption, same sex couple adoption, foster care, emancipation, guardian ad litem, reproductive rights, surrogacy, and more.

Get In Touch Today

Contact Shane T. Herbert Law, LLC at 407-887-7058 to learn what you need to know about child custody and support in Orlando, Florida. You may also submit a free email, and we will get back to you shortly after. For your added convenience, office visits are not required for initial consultations, as we are happy to provide them over the phone when scheduled.

Orlando Family Lawyer 407-887-7058
Shane T. Herbert Law 407-887-7058

Frequently Asked Questions About Kids and Divorce

Earlier this week, we discussed the most common questions family law clients have about Florida divorce statutes, procedures, and more. In today’s blog, as promised, we will discuss some frequently asked questions about divorce when kids are involved. Continue reading to learn some helpful information about getting a divorce in Florida when you have biological or step children.

Orlando Child Support Lawyer
Orlando Child Support Lawyer 407-887-7058

How Much Child Support Will Be Ordered to Pay?

In Florida, the law requires both parents (or legal guardians) to provide financial support of their child. The amount of money the law mandates parents to contribute will depend on a number of factors unique to your situation, all of which are applied to the child support guidelines set forth by Florida legislature. To calculate child support payments, the uses these two primary factors to make their considerations:

Combined Income (Before Expenses) – If you make $1,000 a month, and your spouse makes $3,000 per month, the state will add your incomes together to develop a combined income of $4,000 per month.

Percentage of Income to Combined Total – The state will then consider what percentage each spouse contributes to the combined income. Using the example of $4,000 combined income, your percentage would be 25%, while your spouse contributes 75%.

Do I Have to Pay Child Support for a Step Child?

Here in Florida, stepparents are not legally required to contribute to the financial support of a stepchild after the dissolution of marriage. This also applies to marriages in which a spouse is paying an ex-spouse child support. Because they are married and have joint finances, they are both technically paying child support to the ex-spouse. But the law will not force a stepparent to do so, nor garnish their wages, unless an adoption occurred. Child support is solely the responsibility of the custodial parents. One exception to this rule involves a legal act called In Loco Parentis, which means a person has legally taken on some parental responsibilities to a stepchild, without actually adopting them.

Can I Change Child Support Orders?

In order to contest or change your current child support obligations, you will need to show the courts that an unanticipated and long-lasting change has occurred to your income or financial needs. Such changes may include job losses or promotions, medical expenses, and similar significant events. Typically, a court will not consider the request unless the change calls for at least 15% modification of monthly child support payments, whether an increase or decrease.

Can I Request Temporary Child Support?

Not only can you go to the courts and petition for temporary child support, you can also petition for alimony, custody, visitation rights, and more. Talk to your family lawyer for information on how to get started.

How Do I Change My Child Custody Agreement?

If you are not happy with the child custody agreement prior to or during your divorce, you can petition for a child custody modification. In order to be granted a modification, you will need to show the court that there is a legitimate reason for the change, such as a significant change in circumstances, whether for you or your spouse. Your Orlando family law attorney will help you facilitate all of these needs.

Can My Ex Move to Another State with Our Child?

If you are a non-custodial parent, and your ex-spouse wishes to move to another state, you are protected under Florida law to a certain extent. You have the right to petition for a child custody modification, as mentioned before, but there is no guarantee that the court will grant your request.

Can I Get Custody of My Step Child?

In the state of Florida, you can only get custody of a stepchild after a divorce if an adoption takes place. Otherwise, a stepparent post-divorce has no legal right to a stepchild. Furthermore, Florida does not recognize any visitation rights of stepparents. So after you divorce, you may not be able to get a court to grant you visitation rights to a stepchild.

A Florida Divorce Law Firm That Can Help

Call the Law Office of Shane T. Herbert at 407-887-7058 for help with your child support and child custody matters in Florida. You can trust our seasoned legal team to meet your family law needs, as our case results speak for themselves. Office visits are not required for initial consultations, as we are happy to provide them over the phone or even video conference, if needed. Contact our Orlando Family Law office at 407-887-7058 to learn what you need to know about resolving or addressing your family legal matters, swiftly and securely.

Shane T. Herbert, Attorney at Law
Shane T. Herbert, Attorney at Law 407-887-7058