Tampa Child Custody & Visitation Attorney
The experienced Tampa visitation lawyers at All Family Law Group understand how important your child custody and visitation goals are to you and we have a strong track record of success since 1997 in helping thousands of parents meet their child custody and visitation goals. Florida law now refers to custody and visitation specifically as time-sharing and parental responsibility, although visitation and custody are still used informally. While time-sharing pertains to specific physical time scheduled with the children, parental responsibility pertains to making decisions as to the children. In decision making, the parents may share parental responsibility or one of the parent’s may obtain sole parental responsibility. Both time-sharing and parental responsibility depend on what is in the child’s best interest which factors are defined by Florida statute.
There is a trend in Florida to start with parents’ having equal time-sharing of the children, although there is no statutory basis for it at this time. It is, however, Florida’s public policy that each minor child has continuing contact with both parents as well as both parent’s sharing decision making in accordance with the child’s best interest criteria.
A Parenting Plan outlining the precise regular time-sharing, holidays, summer visitation, etc. between the parents, as well as outlining whether parental responsibility is shared by the parents or whether one parent has sole parental responsibility. If the parent’s share parental responsibility, it can still be designated in the parenting plan specifically which parent has decision making over certain issues. For example, one parent may have decision making as to which school the children attend, while the other parent may be able to choose the children’s physician. It is mandatory, at least in Hillsborough County, that the parties have a Parenting Plan filed with the Court in any action involving children. There may be other miscellaneous terms added to the Parenting Plan as agreed upon by the parents. Our Tampa child custody attorneys have substantial experience negotiating and preparing Parenting Plans.
It is very important to attempt to resolve your goals amicably between the parties for the sake of the children and the parents, both in time and money spent to determine an outcome. When it is not possible to resolve these issues between the parties, then they may be able to resolve them during mediation, which is required to be held whether the parents believe they can come to an agreement or do not think it is possible. If the parent’s cannot agree, then ultimately the judge will decide the time-sharing and parental responsibility for the parents. Our Tampa child custody attorneys have experience in both negotiating an agreement between the parties or, if necessary, aggressively pursuing our client’s goals as to custody and visitation before the court.
If you have questions regarding custody, time-sharing and parental responsibility either in a divorce or in a paternity action or in the modification of these after the final judgment, call 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule an initial free consultation with one of our experienced Tampa visitation lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A.
The Child’s Best Interest Criteria
As expressed above, if the parents cannot come to an agreement, the child’s best interest criteria will be used by the court to determine the time-sharing and parental responsibility of the parents. If litigation is necessary, we will realistically examine your and the other parent’s past and present interaction with the child. Thereafter, we will work diligently to build a case using the best interest of the child criteria to prove how your past and present parenting has best served your child’s interests with the goal of obtaining your desired outcome.
The Court looks at Florida Statute 61.13 (3) to determine the best interest of the children, which include 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 time sharing and decision making goals. Our dedicated team of attorneys and legal staff are skilled at creating time-sharing and parenting plans that take into consideration your desires, supports the best interests of the child, while fostering strong family bonds.
Contact Tampa Child Custody Attorneys at All Family Law Group
The Tampa child custody and visitation attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay provide supportive and understanding child custody, visitation and time-sharing legal representation. Email our law firm or call us now at 813-672-1900 for an initial free consultation to discuss your options. We will respond at our earliest opportunity!