Child Custody Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale
Knowledgeable & Compassionate Counsel for Parental Rights
When spouses divorce, child custody arrangements can become contentious, and often require the assistance of an attorney. Our child custody lawyers in Fort Lauderdale have more than 35 years of combined experience in family law with a strong focus on matters dealing with children, including child support, child custody, child abuse allegations and international child abduction.
Contact Arcaro Law Group at (954) 800-2880 today to schedule a consultation regarding your child custody case.
Florida's Child Custody Laws
Years ago, Florida courts moved to use terms such as majority time-sharing, equal time-sharing, sole parental responsibility, and shared parental responsibility in place of terms based on the word custody. You will still hear these terms used interchangeably, but know that they mean essentially the same thing.
Recently, the state of Florida also pushed to use equal parenting time as a starting point in custody negotiations. This means that, unless it is not in the child’s best interest, divorcing parents along with their attorneys, the court, and mediators, must develop a thoroughly detailed parenting plan.
Helping Families Create a Workable Parenting Plan
The goal of a well-crafted parenting plan is to provide a comprehensive written plan for the child’s care and to avoid future conflicts regarding the child’s care through careful consideration of the life circumstances for the parents and the child.
Parenting plans should include, among other things:
- Clear description of when and for how long the child will be with each parent
- How the parents will share decisions related to daily parenting tasks
- Which parent will make decisions regarding healthcare, or how decisions will be shared
- Details on how and when the child will be picked up or dropped off
- How parent and child will communicate when the child is with the other parent
- Which parent’s address or residence will be used for the child’s records
Our Fort Lauderdale child custody attorneys can help you determine what is in the best interest of your child. If you believe that allowing your ex to have equal or shared parenting time is not in your child’s best interest, we can also work with you to develop a strong case aimed at winning sole parental responsibility.
A Team with Experience Advocating for Families
Tim Arcaro began his legal career almost thirty years ago prosecuting child abuse complaints on behalf of the Florida Department of Children and Families. He then went on to create a Juvenile Advocacy Program at the Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society to represent vulnerable foster care children. He is a published scholar and speaker on child abuse and custody matters, particularly in the context of international parental abduction cases. He provides a wealth of experience and resources to our lawyers.
Laura Arcaro has been court appointed as Guardian Ad Litem to represent countless children in litigation by Broward County judges. Through her direct representation of children, she has gained invaluable insight on factors that matter most in child custody disputes. She uses her that knowledge to help clients make meaningful decisions on the best way to protect their children and accomplish their goals in child custody litigation. The U.S. Department of State Office of Children’s Legal Affairs has also recognized our work on behalf of victimized parents on several occasions. When it comes to your family, you need someone you can trust. Arcaro Law Group has the skill and experience to help you.
Relocating a Child During Custody Negotiations & International Child Abduction
In Florida, a parent in a time-sharing parenting plan who wishes to move more than 50 miles away must file a written agreement with the court showing that the other parent consents. The agreement must also revise the details of the parenting plan. If the parent who is staying put does not agree to the move, the relocating parent may file a petition with the court. Our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys can assist in preparing a response to prevent your ex from taking your child when they relocate.
Issues of Jurisdiction & Foreign Court Orders
South Florida is a gateway to the Latin world. As such, there are a disproportionate number of marriages in this part of the country that involve citizens from different countries. It’s not uncommon that when an international relationship breaks down, one parent wants to return to their country of origin. Language, culture, family, economic support, immigration status, and a variety of other factors help explain the reasons why. When children are involved, it’s critically important to make sure that both parents will continue to have access to the child if one parent is moving to a foreign country.
International relocation cases involve complex questions of jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement of for foreign court orders regarding court ordered custodial and visitation rights. Although Florida provides a system for the recognition and enforcement of foreign child custody orders, most countries do not offer such protections. This may create great uncertainty for the non-relocating parent in their ability to enforce a Florida court order of custody in a foreign country.
Such issues must be addressed before a final court order of relocation is entered in order to adequately protect the parent and the child. One way to address the matter is through the use of a “mirror” court order in which a foreign court will respect and enforce a Florida court order. These matters should be explored and closely examined with a lawyer trained on international child custody matters and the Hague Abduction Convention.
Experience Representing Parents in More Than Five Countries
Unfortunately, it is not an uncommon occurrence for one parent to flee the country with a child in an effort to avoid custodial proceedings. But not all international abduction cases take place through flight. Frequently, the parent’s removal of the child is completely lawful and only subsequently becomes unlawful where the parent wrongfully retains the child outside the child’s home country. The United States does not have exit controls for children leaving the country with a parent.
There are ways to reduce the risk of international abduction that should be explored at the earliest signs of a parents desire to leave the country with the child. Because international relocation and international child abduction cases frequently pit two different national legal systems against each other these cases are incredibly stressful and complex.
Arcaro Law Group has extensive experience working with Hague Abduction Convention laws addressing international child abduction by a parent. We have represented parents in more than five countries striving to reunite with their children and can help you create a plan to minimize the harmful effects of international child abduction by being proactive in planning for jurisdictional disputes before your child is victimized.
Is your ex threatening to move away with your child? Do you need help proving your ex is an unfit parent? Call our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys now at (954) 800-2880 to find out what we can do for you.