Pacheco Perez P.A.

Child custody an issue in Florida Congressman’s divorce

In late May, Florida Congressman Alan Grayson filed court documents in what represents the latest round of a contentious and high-profile divorce. According to those documents, Rep. Grayson is seeking primary physical custody and sole decision-making authority over four children he shares with his soon-to-be ex-wife of 24 years. The children range in age between 10 through 16 years old.

Rep. Grayson attempted to justify his request in his court documents by characterizing his spouse's behavior as erratic and unfair. According to Grayson's filing, this children's mother has previously denied him access to his children on several occasions. Grayson also indicated that his wife remains unwilling to cooperate with him to resolve issues related to the children's medical care, education and other activities.

The court documents paint an unflattering portrait of Grayson's spouse, alleging that she diverted money Grayson paid for child support for her own personal benefit. There are also allegations of an incident in which Grayson says this children's mother attacked the hood of his car while also blocking his path.

Grayson's latest filing comes despite the fact that the couple appeared to have reached a settlement back in April. At that time it seemed as though the couple might agree to an annulment after the Congressman discovered his wife had not divorced from a previous marriage when the couple wed in 1990.

Florida residents who are considering divorce need to know that the custody and care of the children involved are always the principal focus of any family court. Florida judges are permitted to consider many factors when determining child custody, or "time-sharing" as it is sometimes known. However, courts will always defer to making decisions determined by the best interests of the children involved.

This can be important to you for many reasons. A court may be more inclined to award legal decision-making powers on behalf of the children to parents who are actively encouraging relationships between their children and the other parent. Additionally, a court may consider aggressive or even abusive behavior as contrary to the children's development. Having experienced legal representation during these discussions can prove vital regardless of whether you are attempting to gain additional time-sharing privileges or defending against the reduction of that crucial time spent with your kids.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, "U.S. Rep Alan Grayson wants custody of kids, calls mom's behavior 'bizarre'," Mike Schneider, Associated Press, June 02, 2015

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