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Child Custody


CHILD CUSTODY IN FLORIDA

Whether you are facing an action for divorce, paternity, modification of final judgment, or any other custody proceeding, you want to know (i) how to best protect the best interests of your child and (ii) how to safeguard your rights as a parent. At Family Diplomacy we take the time to sit down with you, explain your options, and develop a personalized strategy to fit your needs.

PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

The first issue that you may deal with is “parental responsibility,” or the authority to make decisions regarding your child’s healthcare, religion, education, and other choices unique to your family. You may have heard parental responsibility referred to as “legal custody,” though this term is no longer used in Florida.

 

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. The question often becomes how is that time is spent with each parent. We will help you determine a time-sharing schedule that is appropriate for your circumstances.

PARENTING PLAN

Florida now requires that issues of parental responsibility and time-sharing be formally addressed in a written document known as a parenting plan. Additionally, the parenting plan generally addresses other issues such as holiday schedules, electronic communication, and relocation.

TEMPORARY TIME-SHARING MODIFICATION DUE TO MILITARY SERVICE

If a parent is activated, deployed, or temporarily assigned to military service, courts have the option of entering a temporary order that modifies a custody order. That temporary order may provide the non-military parent with more time-sharing, or it may designate a family member of the child to exercise time-sharing on behalf of the military parent. Additionally, the temporary order may modify child support, to be in effect until the military parent returns. If you are a member of the United States Armed Forces, or your child’s other parent is a service member, we will explain your options.

TEMPORARY CUSTODY OF MINOR CHILD BY EXTENDED FAMILY

As an alternative to adoption or guardianship, Florida has created a cause of action for temporary custody of a child by an extended family member. This allows a judge to enter a temporary order that enables a family member to do the following: (i) consent to medical, dental, and psychiatric care of a child; (ii) secure copies of the child’s birth certificate and educational records; and (iii) enroll the child in school. Family Diplomacy will guide you through the process of petitioning for temporary custody.

CHILD CUSTODY AND THE COLLABORATIVE FAMILY LAW PROCESS

Are you interested in a private, healthier process which keeps your personal and financial information out of the public courtroom and helps everyone, including attorneys, to focus on the best interests of the children? Learn how the Collaborative Family Law model can be used in your child custody case.

A CHILD CUSTODY LAWYER IN TAMPA

Located in Downtown Tampa at the intersection of North Florida Avenue and East Madison Street, we practice throughout the Tampa Bay area, including in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Polk, Hernando, Sarasota, and Manatee counties.