Shared Custody & Support

by Sad Dad from Brandon, Florida, Hillsborough County

We are not divorced yet. Me and my ex have 4 kids together.

I have the kids Saturday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon.

My ex has her mother watch them on the days she has them because she is going to school.

I pay for everyone's health-care and also have a 5k FSA plan. My ex was cited for leaving the kids once while she went to Publix.

We make about the same 45k a year but, she has a 401k while I do not. I am living paycheck to paycheck as does my ex supposedly.

My ex's mother is a felon who stabbed her abusive husband but was sentenced to jail when my ex was a child. I would like to have more say in who watches my kids and am almost to the point where I want full custody and child support. We have been separated for about 3 years.

My question is how likely would it be for me to be granted full custody and receive child support if I'm forced to finally divorce her. Also, should I cut out the FSA and drop her from my insurance now so, it's not held against me?

Answer to Florida Child Custody Question

Dear Sad Dad,

The biggest question is what might you and your wife agree upon?

It isn't unusual nowadays for fathers to be the primary custodial parent, but if she disagrees then the judge will have to decide.

Your incomes are similar; and if the children live with one or the other of you most of the time the other parent will have to pay child support.

There is a Marital Settlement Agreement for Dissolution of Marriage with Minor Children, Supreme Court approved Form 12.902(f) which can be found on the Florida Supreme Court's website at

It is very detailed as to the terms of your agreement -- who pays for what, etc.

Dropping your wife from your 5k Flexible Spending Account, is a decision that you might want to negotiate with her in the Marital Settlement Agreement.

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