Tampa Child Custody Attorneys
Your Rights to your Children are at Stake
When your right to visit or live with your child is at stake, you need to know that:
- We understand how important your child custody and visitation goals are to you, and;
- We have a strong track record of success in helping parents meet their child custody and visitation goals.
The Tampa child custody attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay have provided supportive and understanding child custody, visitation and timesharing legal services to hundreds of parents. Do you have questions regarding how to obtain the child custody, visitation and timesharing rights you want? Email us or call us now at 813-321-3421 for an initial consult at no charge. We will explain your options to you. Our team of Tampa child custody lawyers are skilled at creating timesharing and parenting plans that take into consideration your desires, supports the best interests of the child, while fostering strong family bonds.
The Child’s Best Interest Criteria
We will examine your and your spouse’s or other parent’s situation and past and present interaction with the child to determine how both of your parenting has best served the interests of your child. Thereafter, we will work to prove your past and present parenting has served your child’s interests.
In determining the child’s best interest, the Court looks at certain factors, including the following:
- Each of your desires for the child to develop a close relationship with the other parent
- Each of your history abiding by agreed upon schedules and behaving reasonably and flexibly with the other parent
- The historical care of the child during the marriage and separation
- Each of your abilities to provide a stable and healthy environment for the child
- Any history of domestic abuse or child neglect, criminal behavior, substance abuse or parental alienation
- Any history of providing false information regarding the other parent
- Each of your histories of involvement regarding the child’s schooling and healthcare
By working closely with you and providing personalized, tailored legal services, we can maximize the likelihood of achieving your child custody, visitation and timesharing goals.
Contact Schedules and Timesharing That Works for Everyone
A critical adjustment that must be faced by divorced or single parents is developing workable, fair schedules of timesharing or contact between both parents and their child or children. Parents tend to look only at the present; however, it is important to have planned schedules that focus on the best interest of the child along with the relationship with each parent. Here are some key aspects to consider when developing a contact schedule with children.
Children should be parents’ number one priority following. When trying to figure out when children should spend time with each parent, ex-spouses should take certain things under consideration, our Tampa timesharing lawyers can help you work out a schedule that is amenable to both parties.
Accommodating the Children
Parents should consider the location of their homes, their work schedules and the times when children attend school and activities. Accommodating the children should be paramount. Parents should be on the same page with the schedule and it should work for the children, both parents and not be changed too often so the children can have a sense of security. In addition, changes that are made should be made only if necessary so children don’t get disappointed or in some way feel left out of one of the parents’ lives. Parents should also remember that there is going to be a period of adjustment for children. Children who must spend time in two households need time to get use to the differences at each house, relax and have time to get ready for the next day. The longer a child stays away from a particular residence, the longer the adjustment period will be.
At All Family Law Group, we have experienced child custody and visitation attorneys who will tell you that parents who seek equally shared parenting should factor in how well the child deals with new experiences, such as a new babysitter or a new school. Parents should consider whether their children are very particular, such as only being able to sleep in the same bed or prone to suffering extreme separation anxiety. Those children may not be best suited for equal time between two households.
Conflict and Relocation
The lack of conflict between parents is very important and perhaps as much as the amount of time you actually spend with them. Children benefit from rituals and parents who work together and talk. Activities together, like reading stories before bed or celebrating holidays, can make a relationship. However, children who get bogged down in the arguments and conflict of bickering parents are deeply impacted. Our Tampa family attorneys will tell you there are professionals that can help parents communicate and come up with ways for them to build memories with their children. Relocation also is something that should be looked at seriously. Sometimes, there is no easy answer. It is best to discuss it early and look for ways to make it as simple as possible.
Start With a Set Schedule
Our Tampa attorneys recommend having a set schedule agreed upon from the beginning as it eliminates the potential for arguments later, especially if the parents are having difficulties with each other. A set schedule gives each parent a base to invoke during difficult times between the couple but can be more flexible and/or ignored during better times.
Consider What the Involvement of Parental Contact Was While the Marriage Was Intact
The type of relationship and involvement each parent had during the marriage is another way to set up a contact schedule. Our lawyers will examine this aspect to see if that schedule can be kept in place or help develop a new, workable schedule that keeps consistency in the child’s relationship with both parents.
Addressing Accusations That a Parent Should Not Have Equal Time with the Child
This is where having a Tampa child vistation attorney would be critical to address the belief of one parent that the other should not have equal time. The accusing parent has the burden of proof that the other parent is a detriment to the child’s wellbeing and best interest. Providing proof is difficult as it requires a strong showing that the child’s emotional, mental and physical health would be at risk of permanent harm.
If it is established that the accused parent is a danger to the child, a Tampa divorce and child custody lawyer could help in establishing a schedule with limitations on contact, supervision of contact and interventions for the parent who it is felt “needs improvement.”
Schedule a Balance of Responsible Time Along with Recreational Time
Both parents need to stay involved in a variety of ways with their child at each home environment. It is important to establish responsibilities with the day-to-day activities at each home. Having the child involved in activities such as food shopping, running errands and home chores helps the child develop responsibility at each home.
Another important aspect is to establish involvement by both parents in the child’s school activities. Both parents should be involved with homework assignments. Both parents should be available to attend their child’s school activities and events. Plus any other extra-curricular activities should allow for both parents to be involved and attend.
Always Have the Best Interest of the Child as the Goal for a Contact Schedule
Parents should let go of personal needs and wants, especially if they are being wanted out of hostility for the other parent, and focus on the best interest of your child. The parents need to insure that the schedule will help the child have as balanced of a relationship with both parents throughout his or her life as a minor.
Statutory Factors Determining the Best Interests of the Child
For purposes of establishing or modifying parental responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which governs each parent’s relationship with his or her minor child and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration. Determination of the best interests of the child shall be made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the minor child, including, but not limited to:
(a) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
(b) The anticipated division of parental responsibilities after the litigation, including the extent to which parental responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.
(c) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.
(d) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
(e) The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school-age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against relocation of either parent with a child.
(f) The moral fitness of the parents.
(g) The mental and physical health of the parents.
(h) The home, school, and community record of the child.
(i) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
(j) The demonstrated knowledge, capacity, and disposition of each parent to be informed of the circumstances of the minor child, including, but not limited to, the child’s friends, teachers, medical care providers, daily activities, and favorite things.
(k) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.
(l) The demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front on all major issues when dealing with the child.
(m) Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect, regardless of whether a prior or pending action relating to those issues has been brought.
(n) Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.
(o) The particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent and the division of parental responsibilities before the institution of litigation and during the pending litigation, including the extent to which parenting responsibilities were undertaken by third parties.
(p) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
(q) The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.
(r) The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child.
(s) The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child’s developmental needs.
(t) Any other factor that is relevant to the determination of a specific parenting plan, including the time-sharing schedule.
Contact Tampa Child Custody Attorneys at All Family Law Group
We provide a free initial consultation to discuss your child custody “timesharing” situation, so contact us or call us at 813-321-3421 to get the answers you need. Our team of child custody attorneys and legal staff are committed to providing to you the best representation possible.