How to Determine Parental Responsibility During a Divorce

parental responsibility

When marriages with children are “on the rocks”, it is important to have certain basic plans, procedures, safeguards in place for your kids. Contacting a Sarasota divorce attorney such as Matthew Z. Martell can help to guide you through parental responsibility (formerly called “custody”) to ensure that you and your children are protected. There are many things regarding parental responsibility that you should be keeping in mind. Knowing what you should be doing (such as familiarizing yourself with the 12th Judicial Circuit Standing Family Law Order, reviewing and completion one of the 12th Judicial Circuit approved Parenting Plans, and taking the required parenting course early) will be your best protection initially. Also, you need to remember that just because you are fighting, angry, upset, hurt, and looking for faults in your spouse does not mean that he or she is suddenly is neglectful towards your children or a bad parent.  In summary, it is important to contact Sarasota divorce attorneys early on to find out what you should be doing from the date of separation onwards according to Florida law in regard to parental responsibility in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, Florida.

The most important step is to not assume that the “status quo” in your home before the divorce is going to remain the same. Florida law strongly favors shared parental responsibility which means joint custody. Therefore, you and your spouse should first treat each other as having equal 50/50 parenting rights. Specifically, you and the other parent should discuss all issues pertaining to the children’s education, daycare, health, dental, vision, prescriptions, medical decisions, discipline, religion, sports, extracurricular activities, etc. and come to agreements on these issues which consider the children’s best interests first. When children are involved, having the proper legal representation like Sarasota divorce attorney Matthew Z. Martell is very important to help guide you through the divorce parental responsibility process.

Protecting your legal rights regarding parental responsibility during a divorce is important. For example, if you have a fight over your child’s planned doctor’s appointment, and you and your spouse previously already voluntarily entered into a temporary Parenting Plan early in the divorce, then this settlement agreement is will govern how that dispute is resolved. It is important to get your proposed Parenting Plan completed early on, sent to the other parent, and then negotiated directly with the other spouse so that you can reach a temporary custody agreement that all parties can live with early on in the divorce.

Oftentimes, when the parents can’t resolve parental responsibility on their own, it is done by going to mediation on temporary relief issues (e.g.- temporary parental responsibility, temporary timesharing, temporary child support, temporary use and possession of the marital residence, temporary alimony, temporary attorney’s fees and costs).  This is normally done within the 1st few months after the divorce is filed. Highly rated Sarasota divorce attorney with excellent reviews such the Attorney Matthew Z. Martell, can help steer you through this parental responsibility custody process.  Contacting Sarasota divorce attorney Matthew Z. Martell early on in your divorce can help prevent a custody battle and also prevent a further breakdown of the relationship with the other parent. Finally, having highly experienced Sarasota divorce attorneys can also help you make sure that your spouse is fulfilling their duties as a parent, so you are able to spend more quality time with your children.

In the event of a divorce, you will quickly discover that you may be at the mercy of the courts if you don’t have one of the best Sarasota divorce attorneys in town representing you. So, finding a caring, highly qualified, well experienced Sarasota divorce attorney like Matthew Martell is a crucial aspect of navigating through the initial stages of the divorce regarding issues such as parental responsibility. Do not expect the courts to take care of it for you.  If you do, you may find yourself waiting for months with no help in sight and fighting constantly with your spouse about custody issues unnecessary.  Utilizing effective legal representation with Sarasota divorce attorney Matthew Z. Martell can quickly help you (and help your children) in attempting to resolve parental responsibility issues.

Again, it is very important to remember that when you are dealing with a child custody situation that you will be at the mercy of the courts if you are unrepresented. Don’t assume that you know how parental responsibility should be legally resolved in your divorce just because you consider yourself to be good parent (or the better parent). Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice have a standing court order regarding parenting responsibility that goes into effect from Day 1 of filing your divorce.  Sarasota County and Manatee County have four (4) approved Parenting Plans. The Judges and Magistrates basically expect you to pick one early on, fill it out, send it to the other parent, negotiate it with your spouse directly, and then use the final jointly approved executed version during the divorce.  If you hire one of the best Sarasota divorce attorneys like Attorney Matthew Z. Martell, then he can help you make sure that you have a solid Parenting Plan in place for the parental responsibility matters that arise during divorce.

Contacting a Sarasota divorce attorney at the Law Office of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. in Sarasota, Bradenton, and Venice, Florida will make it easier to ensure that your parental responsibility issues are addressed and resolved early in your divorce.  Please contact us at (941) 556-7020 for a free 30-minute initial phone consultation regarding parental responsibility is Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida.  We are here to help you!

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The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell located in Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota Florida provides legal services to the following areas: Sarasota, Osprey, Siesta Key, Bird Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach, Palmetto, Ellenton, Parrish, Venice, South Venice, Manasota Key, Englewood, Casey Key, Nokomis and all areas of Sarasota County and Manatee County. Let us help you today.

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