Temporary Child Custody in Panama

When parent split up or file for divorce, one of the most important issues will be determining where the children will live and with whom. Child custody can easily be one of the most emotionally difficult issues for parents to address in a divorce, particularly when parents disagree on where the children should live. Because children need consistency, the courts will often resolve child custody on a temporary basis. When child custody is being contested, the courts will generally hold a temporary child custody hearing.

If the parents cannot come to an agreement about child custody, a judge may enter a temporary child custody order. The parents will be expected to present evidence that demonstrates the best interests of the children, and they will do this at the temporary relief hearing.

Parents are familiar with the terms temporary and permanent child custody; however, many parents aren't aware of the fact that a temporary child custody arrangement frequently becomes permanent. Although people have traditionally used the terms "physical custody" and "legal custody", the state of Florida actually refers to them as timesharing and parental responsibility.

It's apparent that temporary custody is supposed to be a short-term arrangement, whereas permanent custody is for the long-term, but this can be misleading for some. When it comes to family court, temporary custody rarely means what the name implies. Attorneys who handle child custody cases are well-aware of the fact that when it comes to child custody cases, temporary child custody almost always leads to permanent custody.

Importance of Temporary Custody

When parents file for divorce, it's common for the courts to award one parent temporary custody of the children until the divorce is finalized. In such cases one parent assumes legal and physical responsibility for the children for an indefinite period of time, and the other parent is granted visitation rights. However, what parents may not realize is that temporary custody gives the custodial parent an advantage over the other parent and it helps them in eventually winning permanent child custody.

When one parent wins temporary child custody, it gives him or her opportunity to provide a stable environment for the children and do a good job caring for them. Assuming that parent is successful and the children are well cared for, at the final custody hearing that parent can prove to the judge that the children are thriving in his or her care. If the parent is successful, it will be much more difficult for the other parent to convince the court otherwise. While courts may not like to admit that permanent custody isn't influenced by temporary custody, in reality courts are hesitant to change a child's environment if they are thriving and doing well in the one they are in.

Abiding by the Court in a Temporary Custody Situation

The state of Florida is focused on making child custody decisions based on what is in the best interests of the child. What's more, assuming that both parents are fit to raise the child and in the absence of substance abuse, mental illness, and domestic violence, the courts enthusiastically encourage both parents to play an active role in the child's life. That said, when temporary custody is awarded to one parent for any reason, it's very important that the parent who wins temporary custody follow all court directions in regards to the other parent's visitation rights. This shows the court that the custodial parent is being cooperative and that he or she is willing to allow the other parent to participate in the child's life. On the other hand, if the parent with temporary custody is unwilling to follow the court's orders and prevents the other parent from exercising his or her visitation rights, then these actions can negatively influence a judge's opinion and ultimately influence a change in custody.

If you are seeking custody of your children, it's not a good idea to move out of your home and leave your children with the other parent. This is referred to as de facto custody, which typically leads to temporary custody, and ultimately permanent custody. When one parent has de facto custody, then the other parent generally has only the temporary custody hearing to challenge the de facto custody before the permanent custody hearing. When the non-custodial parent waits until the permanent custody hearing to request a change, the court is generally reluctant to challenge the de facto custody.

Other Reasons for Temporary Child Custody

Aside from child custody disputes, there are other reasons why a parent would want to consider a temporary child custody arrangement. This temporary custody arrangement could be with the other parent, a grandparent, a friend, or an extended family member. Some common reasons for a temporary child custody arrangement include: separation or divorce, lack of financial resources to care for the child, domestic violence, illness or hospitalization, or an unusual work schedule.

To learn more about temporary and permanent child custody, please contact a Panama City child custody attorney from The Seaton Law Offices, P.A. Should you need assistance with your child custody matter, you can be confident that your case will be in good hands, and we will look out for your best interests from start to finish.

Contact Seaton Law Offices, P.A.

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