Mixed Martial Artist Chuck Liddell Requests “Full Custody” of Child. What Should You Request?

TMZ.com reports that retired mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell requested “full custody” of his child in a California courtroom:

Chuck Liddell Requests "Full Custody"

Chuck Liddell Requests "Full Custody"

Chuck Liddell is in an L.A. courtroom asking a judge for full custody of his son, after the boy allegedly told him he didn’t want to live with his mom anymore.

Sources tell us 12-year-old Cade was visiting Chuck from Colorado, where he lives with [his] mom, Lori Geyer.  Chuck claims the boy was depressed and upset and didn’t want to go back.  And, Chuck says, Cade complained that he was “living with a severe toothache for 2 to 3 months.”

Chuck took Cade to a dentist, but feels his son’s “health and safety are at risk.”

Chuck’s lawyer mentioned in court the boy was allegedly abused by being forced to perform physical labor — including snow removal.

Though I frequently use the term “custody” when explaining family law issues to clients, the fact is that Florida courts no longer rule on “custody.”  Instead, a Florida judge will enter an order concerning “time-sharing” and “parental responsibility.”

Though this may seem like mere semantics, it is important to know what to ask for, and what a judge will grant.

Time-Sharing

Time-sharing is the amount of time each parent will spend with a child. You may have heard of this concept referred to as “physical custody.” In Florida, there is a presumption that it is in the best interests of a child to spend time with both parents.

Generally a party will request one of the following:

  • 100% Time-Sharing- This is a request that the child spends all of the time with one parent, and no time with the other parent (this request is hardly ever granted, unless a parent has a history of child molestation, violent criminal offenses, or repeated injunctions for protection against domestic violence);
  • Majority Time-Sharing with Limited or Supervised Time-Sharing with the Other Parent- This is a request that one parent’s visitation be restricted by, for example, requiring that he or she attend an anger-management course or classes to help cope with addiction to drugs or alcohol.  A parent may also request that the other parent’s time with the child be supervised by another responsible adult or at a court-approved supervised visitation center.  A court is unlikely to grant this request unless there is a showing that unsupervised or unrestricted time-sharing would be detrimental to the child;
  • Majority Time-Sharing- As the name implies, this is a request that a child spends most of the time with one parent;
  • Equal Time-Sharing- Again, pretty self-explanatory.  This is a request that each parent spends equal time with a child; or
  • Substantial Time-Sharing- This is a term of art.  Pursuant to the recent changes in section 61.30 of the Florida Statutes, this a request that a child resides with a parent at least 20% of the time.

Parental Responsibility

Parental Responsibility is the authority to make decisions regarding a child’s healthcare, religion, education, and other choices unique to the family. You may have heard parental responsibility referred to as “legal custody.”

A party will request one of three possibilities for parental responsibility:

  • Shared Parental Responsibility- This is a request that the parents confer and make major decisions together.  This is the request that is most often granted;
  • Shared Parental Responsibility with Ultimate Decision-Making Authority Delegated to One Parent-  This is a request that the parents confer on major decisions but one parent has the right to make final decisions on certain issues; or
  • Sole Parental Responsibility-  This is a request that one parent has the right to make major decisions regarding the child without conferring with the other parent.  This request will rarely be granted unless there is a showing that, due to extra-ordinary circumstances such as a history of domestic violence or violent crime, it is in the child’s bests interests that the parents not confer regarding major decisions.

If you have questions regarding time-sharing or parental responsibility and you wish to speak with a family law lawyer in Tampa Bay, schedule a consultation with The Law Firm of Adam B. Cordover, P.A., by calling us at (813) 443-0615 or filling out our contact form.

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About Adam B. Cordover, Attorney-at-Law

Family Diplomacy is dedicated to helping clients restructure their families privately and respectfully. We practice exclusively in out-of-court dispute resolution, with a focus on collaborative divorce and family law, mediation, direct negotiations, and unbundled legal services. We maintain this out-of-court practice because we strongly believe that family disputes should be resolved in a private conference room, not in a hostile and public courtroom environment. This unique perspective on family law stems back to Adam B. Cordover’s experience studying International Affairs in Washington, D.C., and abroad. Adam had the rare opportunity to work closely with ambassadors and diplomats from war-torn regions around the world. He traveled around the globe, learning from diplomatic leaders as they applied dispute resolution techniques to tackle seemingly impossible conflicts. It dawned on him: If these techniques can work in the complex world of International Relations, why not Domestic Relations and Family Law? This realization lead Adam to create an exclusively out-of-court practice and to bring a more peacemaking approach to family law. In his previous role as a litigation attorney, Adam witnessed parties experience the negative emotional and financial effects that long, drawn out divorce battles can have on families. As a result, Adam has become a strong proponent of the Collaborative Process, where a structure is put in place so that life’s hardest moments do not have to be any more difficult than necessary. A thought leader in the international collaborative law community, Adam successfully spearheaded an effort of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit to draft an administrative order safeguarding the principles of collaborative family law (just the fourth such administrative order in Florida). Adam has been featured in or interviewed about collaborative practice by the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, Miami Herald, Tampa Bay Business Journal, Florida Bar News, NBC, Fox 13, Bay News 9, ABC Action News, The World of Collaborative Practice Magazine, and Spirit FM 90.5. Adam regularly speaks at professional and civic organizations locally and internationally regarding the collaborative process. Adam B. Cordover is president of Next Generation Divorce, a 501(c)(3) and Florida’s largest interdisciplinary collaborative practice group with member attorneys, mental health professionals, and financial professionals throughout Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties. Adam is also on the Executive Board and co-chair of the Research Committee of the Collaborative Family Law Council of Florida. Further, Adam is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Leadership Academy of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. You can learn more about us and our services at www.FamilyDiplomacy.com. Attorney Adam B. Cordover is admitted to the Florida Bar and the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida. His office is located at 412 East Madison Street, Suite 824, Tampa, Florida 33602.
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