Child Custody & Visitation Still Married

by Bri from Florida

Hello, I am still legally married but, my husband and I have agreed to split time 50/50 with our 3 children ages 6, 7 and 10.

The children have been a witness to the things he has said and done to me over their lives.

He has been told by a counselor that he is bi-polar and needs to see a psychologist for meds- but refuses because, he says I'm his issue.

Well they are now way too scared to go to his home for his agreed week.

Because we are still married and have no legal ties can they choose what they want and can I legally allow them to stay with me if that is their choice? Thanks a bunch.

Answer to Florida Custody & Visitation Question

Dear Bri,

The only way I know how a married Pro Se can ask for a formalized parenting plan and time-sharing schedule be ordered is through a divorce petition.

Once you file for divorce, you can file a Parenting Plan.

Although, judges would prefer that parties agree on a Parenting Plan, and file them jointly, you can file it yourself as a proposed plan.

If the children are afraid of him, I, personally, would listen to the children. They may be telling you only bits and pieces of their reasons.

My suggestion is that before you decide that your children don't need to go to his home anymore, due to your ex's behavior, file a Parenting Plan.

In addition to the regular Parenting Plan there is also a form for a Supervised Visitation Safety-Focused Parenting Plan.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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Separated Custody Court Order
by: Anastasia from Middleburg, Florida

I have been separated from my husband for nearly a year. Our daughter is 4 and will be starting school soon. We agreed that her going to school near his home was for the best after previously having a 50/50 agreement. Neither was a court order but now he is threatening my visitation because of his dislike for my boyfriend. How do I go about having our current agreement turned into a court order?

--The simplest way I know is to file for a divorce and include a Parenting Plan with your paperwork. There may be other ways to get a custody and visitation order entered while you are still married, but I think this would have to be in connection with a child support order. See the Petition for Support Unconnected with Dissolution of Marriage with Dependent or Minor Children, Form 12.904(a) for more information.

To do this legally without going through the divorce process you would really need to know what you were doing if you tried to do this pro se because there are no court approved forms for this request. My suggestion is to get legal advice from a competent family lawyer. Use our popular lawyer referral service by clicking on the link above. Many lawyers offer free and low cost consultations. Good luck. --Staff

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