TAMPA CHILD CUSTODY ATTORNEY
We at Cohen & DePaul understand that deciding child custody issues can be a very difficult time for you and your family. That is why we serve families and individuals who have child custody issues throughout Tampa Bay. Jeanine Cohen and Wendy DePaul, our Tampa child custody lawyers have extensive experience and knowledge in the practice of law. She handles all legal aspects of family law, including the following:
Grounds for dissolution
Recovering Attorneys Fees
The child custody attorneys at Cohen & DePaul, P.A. are experienced attorneys who can handle all aspects of your family law case, including child cusody issues, and we understand the many questions you may be having at this time. Should you seek an explanation of the issues involved, or if you have questions, please contact our child custody lawyer and we will schedule a consultation to address your concerns. We understand that going through a divorce or other family law matter can be an extremely sensitive and difficult time, and our first priority is to answer your questions, carefully explain the law to you as it relates to your unique situation, and to formulate a plan of action to best represent your interests and protect your rights.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
DID YOU KNOW? Typically, both parents want to spend as much time as they can with the children, and agreeing to a time-sharing arrangement is not often easy. Since October 1, 2008, Florida courts have followed a revised statute in determining issues regarding minor children in dissolution of marriage cases. This statute prescribes that all cases with minor children have a parenting plan. At a minimum, a parenting plan will be required to describe in adequate detail how the parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child, the time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time the child will spend with each parent, and designation of which parent will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, other activities, and the methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child. If you have questions or concerns about your custody situation, please contact one of our Tampa custody attorneys at Cohen & DePaul.
The best interests of the child will be the required primary consideration of parents who are developing a parenting plan. The child’s best interests will be required to be the primary consideration of the court that is establishing or modifying shared parental responsibility, or creating, approving, or modifying a parenting plan. The express statutory factors are as follows.
Florida Statutes, Chapter 61.13 (3) 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.