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Tampa Child Custody Lawyers

The state of Florida uses the term time-sharing rather than custody. Time-sharing is always one of the toughest aspects of a divorce. How much time the children will spend with each parent is always at the center of any divorce involving minor children. Parents are often worried about how much time they will get with their children, and typically, both parents want to spend as much time as possible with them. If you’re currently going through a divorce as a parent, you need a team of seasoned Tampa child custody lawyers who can effectively represent your interests. Contact Tampa Law Group today.

Child Custody Lawyers: Here for Families in Tampa & Throughout Florida

Sometimes, parents are hesitant to file for divorce because they are concerned that they will lose custody of their children entirely. That said, in Florida, the courts will consider the best interest of the children when making all decisions regarding the children, including time-sharing.

Except in extreme cases, the courts consider it to be in the best interest of the children to have frequent contact with both parents. Fifty-fifty arrangements in which the children spend equal time with both parents are becoming more common and are even favored in Florida counties–however, a 50/50 time-sharing arrangement is far from guaranteed. This is why you need a team of competent Tampa family lawyers who can effectively represent you and prove you can adequately provide for and raise your child.

How Do Courts Determine Child Custody (Time-Sharing) in Florida?

Courts consider a wide range of factors when determining time-sharing agreements. Just some of the most important factors are as follows:

  • Parental Capacity: The ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs, including emotional, educational, social, and physical.
  • Willingness to Facilitate a Relationship: The court looks at each parent’s willingness and ability to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent.
  • Child’s Preference: Depending on the child’s age and maturity, the court may consider the child’s preference.
  • Mental and Physical Health: The mental and physical health of the parents is considered, ensuring they are capable of caring for the child.
  • Moral Fitness: This includes the parents’ behavior, stability, and actions that may impact the child.
  • Community and School: The court evaluates the impact of the time-sharing arrangement on the child’s current routines, including school, home, and community.
  • History of Domestic Violence: Any history of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect by either parent is a critical factor.
  • Parental Involvement: The extent of each parent’s participation in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
  • Geographic Viability: How close the parents live to each other, and the feasibility of maintaining a stable routine for the child.
  • Siblings: The court prefers to keep siblings together, if possible.

Can I Modify a Time-Sharing Agreement in Florida?

Yes, time-sharing agreements in Florida can be modified, but the court will only do so if there has been a substantial, material, and unanticipated change in circumstances since the original agreement was made, and if the modification is in the best interests of the child. Factors that may warrant a modification include the following:

  • Change in Employment: Significant changes in work schedules or job locations that affect the current time-sharing arrangement.
  • Relocation: If one parent plans to move a significant distance away, a modification may be necessary.
  • Health Issues: Major changes in the health condition of either the parent or the child that impact the original agreement.
  • Behavioral Issues: If one parent’s behavior negatively impacts the child’s well-being, including substance abuse, neglect, or criminal activity.
  • Environmental Changes: Significant changes in the child’s living conditions that could affect their well-being.
  • Improvement in Circumstances: If the circumstances of the parent previously awarded less time have substantially improved, warranting more time with the child.

Modifying a time-sharing agreement requires proving to the court that these changes affect the child’s best interests. At Tampa Law Group, our experienced child custody lawyers can guide you through the process of modifying your time-sharing agreement, ensuring it serves the best interests of your child.

Grandparents’ Rights in Florida

The dynamics of family relationships can be complicated at times. As relationships change, sometimes grandparents find themselves in a situation where they are unable to visit their grandchildren.

This can happen when one parent passes away and the remaining parent does not want to allow a grandparent to see their grandchildren, or when shifting family dynamics, such as a divorce, result in cutting off grandparents from their grandchildren. The resulting pain and frustration often lead grandparents to question whether they have legal rights to visitation with their grandchildren.

Unfortunately, under current Florida law, grandparent visitation rights are exceedingly difficult to obtain and exist only under a very limited set of circumstances. Both parents must be unable to act in a parental role because they have passed away, are missing, are incapacitated (such as a coma or persistent vegetative state), or are a threat to the child’s health, safety, or welfare.

Though this is devastating to both the grandparents and the grandchildren, in the end, if there is a parent who is in the picture and who is not a danger to the child, a grandparent will be unable to legally enforce a right to visit or have time-sharing with the grandchild.

Contact Our Dedicated Child Custody Lawyers Today

Here at Tampa Law Group, we understand just how important it is to have a lasting bond with your child after a divorce. This is why our child custody lawyers are dedicated to ensuring your child’s best interests are protected at every turn. Contact Tampa Law Group today so we can begin working on your case.

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