A parent without physical custody of their child is known as a noncustodial parent, and they have different rights and responsibilities than the custodial parent.
Whether you have physical custody of your child or not, it’s important to understand what is expected of a noncustodial parent – and what they can reasonably expect – from their role in their child’s life.
How Do the Courts in Florida Determine Custody?
First, let’s briefly go over how the courts in Florida determine child custody. Ultimately, judges decide custody based on the child’s best interests.
Judges accomplish this by taking various facts about the parents’ individual living situations, employment, and background into account. Judges also consider each parent’s ability to meet their child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs, as well as their ability to provide a safe and stable environment.
Lastly, Florida law also requires judges to evaluate each parent’s moral fitness. This is to ensure that a parent won’t adversely affect their child’s moral and ethical development.
What Is Physical Custody?
Whether a parent is referred to as a custodial or noncustodial parent comes down to whether or not they have physical custody of their child. Physical custody refers to a parent’s responsibility to provide their child with housing and make day-to-day decisions on their behalf.
Both parents can share physical custody, and courts are often inclined to assign such an arrangement, but there are situations in which a judge orders sole physical custody.
What Are My Rights as a Noncustodial Parent in Florida?
If you are a secondary parent in a parenting agreement or otherwise don’t have physical custody of your child, you are still entitled to important rights.
These rights include the following:
- You have the right to petition to modify child support six months after a judge ordered it.
- You can request a review of your parenting plan three years after it was created or last modified.
- You can request a modification of your parenting plan when there is a legitimate reason for altering it, such as either parent’s change in income, number of children, and/or a significant change in a child’s health care needs.
In addition to these rights, noncustodial parents have important responsibilities that include paying child support and abiding by the terms and arrangements in their time-sharing plan.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
Beatriz Zyne, P.A. can help you with any legal matters concerning child custody in Florida. If you are a noncustodial parent who is concerned about your rights and responsibilities, we can provide the legal guidance you need to protect your role in your child’s life.
Learn more during an initial consultation. Contact us online to learn more!