Children

When minor children are involved in divorce proceedings, the parties are required to enter into a parenting plan that determines the day-to-day responsibilities of the parents over the children, as well as determine a time-sharing schedule, a holiday schedule and parental responsibility over the major issues affecting a child’s life, such as, their education, religious upbringing, non-emergency medical decisions and extra-curricular activities.

In Florida, a court can award the parties "shared parental responsibility" or it can award one of the parties "sole parental responsibility." Generally, there is a preference for shared parental responsibility. Shared parental responsibility is a court-ordered relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child and in which both parents confer with each other so that major decisions affecting the welfare of the child will be determined jointly. Sole parental responsibility is a court-ordered relationship in which one parent makes decisions regarding the minor child without consulting the other parent. Furthermore, a court can order shared parental responsibility with ultimate responsibility over one or more aspects of the child’s life to one parent or divided between the parents.

It is important to understand that the determination of parental responsibility is separate and distinct from the time-sharing schedule. A time-sharing schedule refers to the time the child will be spending with each parent and details where the child will be living from day to day during the year. Our goal at Christy L. Hertz, P.A., is to resolve your case without causing you to lose all of your money and assets, while retaining your dignity and sanity.

The time-sharing and the determination of parental responsibility of your children is the most personal and, perhaps, most important part of your case. Issues related to children which regularly arise and must be determined in divorce cases and paternity cases involve parental responsibility, co-parenting, time-sharing, residential determination, relocation, and post-judgment modification of these matters.

We know that you will always try and consider the best interests of your children. However, your spouse or opposing parent may be more focused on the monetary aspects of your case. We will focus our efforts on the heart of your case, the children. We will strive to ensure that your children are protected and sheltered from the turbulence of any legal disputes.

Cases involving children are necessarily emotional and may become quite difficult. We can direct you to an appropriate mental health professional if it appears that you or your children will benefit from such crisis management.

Sometimes, your case may require a Guardian Ad Litem to conduct an impartial investigation and to act as the eyes and ears of the judge. We have experience in serving as Guardian Ad Litems in difficult and contentious cases so we know when it is appropriate to have the court appoint a Guardian Ad Litem and how to help you with such an investigation. At all times, our focus is the best interests of your children based upon your beliefs and values for them.