Miami Legal Tips Blog

Do You Know Your Rights as a Custodial Parent in Florida?

courtroom-898931_1280Your role as a parent could change drastically when you get divorced. Prior to the divorce, it’s likely both parents were living with the child and it was easy to communicate on which parent would pay for what and which parenting styles were important to you both. After a divorce, the responsibilities must be divided.

What to expect during divorce proceedings

It’s likely that the courts will try to award joint custody. This means that both parents have responsibility for caring for your children and they both will make decisions about their education, health, etc. The courts believe that both parents being involved is generally what’s best for the child. However, they will name one of you custodial and one of you noncustodial. What do those terms mean and what rights do you have?

The rights of the custodial parent

The parent who lives with the child most of the year is the custodial parent. They’re responsible for taking care of the child’s most basic needs, like food, shelters, and clothes. They’ll often receive financial support from the noncustodial parent. As the custodial parent, you’d have the right to request reviews if you have concerns about child support. You also have the right to stay updated on any active or changing cases. The Department of Revenue is responsible for overseeing child support payments.

The rights of the noncustodial parent

The noncustodial parent is the parent who doesn’t live with the child most of the time, but they still have rights – and legal responsibilities. For example, they are required to pay child support as the courts dictate. They also have the right to petition the court to have child support payments changed. A review from the state may be granted if there’s a change in employment or parental responsibilities. Keep in mind that Florida puts restrictions on when you can ask for a review:

  • You can’t have your child support payments changed within six months of being sentenced to pay child support.
  • You must be able to prove that there’s been a significant change in your life that necessitates a change in child support. This could include changes in the child’s health, a change in the number of children involved, or a change in income.
  • If you haven’t had your order reviewed / modified for three years then you can request a review.

Do you have other questions about custodial and noncustodial rights? Contact Gilbert & Smallman today for your free consultation.

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