On behalf of North Tampa Legal Group posted in child custody on Friday, February 5, 2016.
With the right of same-sex couples to marry in Florida comes the unfortunate reality that not all marriages last. Divorce can be both painful and complex, especially for same-sex couples who have children.
Same-sex couples have the same rights in divorce as heterosexual couples. This includes the right to parenting time if you and your spouse have children. However, Florida case law regarding parenting time for same-sex couples is still developing.
Same-sex couples can acquire children through adoption, surrogacy or from a prior heterosexual relationship. Florida courts base parenting time decisions based on the best interests of the child. The following are examples of the factors the court will use to determine the best interests of the child for both same-sex and heterosexual parents:
- The willingness of each parent to honor the time-sharing schedule and be reasonable when changes are required
- The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the divorce
- The ability of each parent to meet the needs and desires of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent
- The length of time the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment
- The geographic viability of the parenting plan
- The moral fitness of the parents
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- The home, school, and community record of the child
- The preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference
For a complete list of the factors Florida courts use to determine child custody, refer to Florida statute 61.13.
The Law Firm of Chris E. Ragano P.A. in Tampa provides experienced counsel in matters such as same-sex divorce and parenting time.