When you are getting a divorce or a legal separation and minor children are involved, you may want to consider hiring a child custody attorney Tampa FL recommends. This is especially true when your ex-spouse has already hired a lawyer. The McKinney Law Group is a firm that focuses on family law. Having years of experience and a successful reputation throughout the Tampa area, we have helped thousands of clients get the results they deserve. If you would like to speak with a respected Tampa child custody attorney, call us at 813-906-0048.
Understanding Child Custody in Florida
Child custody is an outdated term in the Florida legal system, but still widely used by laypersons. Now it is legally referred to as “parental responsibility” and “time sharing”. Parental responsibility refers to the right to make decisions about how a child is raised. Time sharing refers to the total amount of time any one parent spends with the child.
Although these terms were developed by the courts in an attempt to decrease disputes between parents and their responsibilities to their children, arguments still occur. When they do, resolving them without a child custody attorney Tampa FL respects can be very difficult.
How Courts Decide on Child Custody
A child custody attorney in Tampa FL can tell you that under Florida law, the courts are required to decide on time sharing and parental responsibility of separating or divorcing parents. These decisions are made with the best interests of the child/children in mind. Very often the court orders shared responsibility unless they feel this order would be harmful to the child’s well being. Laws do not favor the mother or father, and may take into consideration a time sharing schedule and parenting plan. A child custody attorney Tampa FL relies on can help make the process smoother and more productive.
Some factors that may be taken into consideration when determining child custody (or time sharing and parental responsibility) include:
- The willingness of each parent to encourage a close relationship with the child.
- The morals of the parents.
- The ability to be reasonable when time sharing changes are required.
- The preferences of a child.
- The capacity of each parent to provide a healthy, consistent routine for the child.
- The capacity of each parent to be involved with the child’s school and any activities.
Other factors that may be considered include:
- Whether or not domestic violence or sexual abuse was involved in parenting or against the other parent.
- Whether or not one parent is facing jail/prison time, or already incarcerated.
- The earning capacity of each parent.
- If a parent’s whereabouts is unknown, or they have no desire to be involved in the children’s life, the court may grant full custody to the other parent, or in some cases a guardian. A child custody attorney Tampa FL has to offer can further explain what options are available and what you might expect in your own case.
Developing a Parenting Plan
The court may require each parent to submit a parenting plan. This must revolve around the best interests of the child and should be agreed upon by both parents. It is up to the court to decide whether or not it is acceptable. If it is not, the court may create the plan for the parents. A lawyer may help you and your ex spouse to create a mutually agreeable plan that suits everyone involved and decreases the chance of the court getting too involved.
Calling The McKinney Law Group for a Free Consultation
Whether you are in a child custody dispute or looking to create a parental responsibility and timesharing plan of action, consider The McKinney Law Group. For a consultation with a leading child custody attorney Tampa FL residents can count on, call 813-906-0048.