How to Choose the Right Custody Attorney for Your Needs

One of the most difficult things for any divorcing couple to work through is deciding what will happen with their children. Whether you are going through a divorce with your spouse or you were never married and your relationship ended amicably, you need to be able to come to an agreement on custody of your child(ren). When it comes to establishing this arrangement, there are many things to take into account. The most important factor is always what is in the best interests of your child. In order to do this, you need a qualified attorney who will fight for your rights and interests. The right Pensacola Florida Child Custody attorney can make all the difference.

Florida is currently moving away from the term “custody” and has begun using terms like “parental responsibility” and “time sharing.” This means that it is more about the parents coming up with a time-sharing (visitation) schedule that will work for them, rather than who should have primary custody of the children. This is a great change for families, as it means that both parents are being given the opportunity to continue to have a significant role in their children’s lives.

Typically, judges will grant both parents shared parental responsibility in which they will jointly make decisions regarding the child’s health, education, and welfare. However, if the court feels that it would be detrimental to the child’s well-being to have both parents share in this decision-making process, then they will award one parent sole parental responsibility. Similarly, when a judge awards one parent primary physical custody, they will often make arrangements for visitation with the other parent. Depending on the situation, these visits can be supervised, arranged for daytime or overnight, or even be completely cut off.

When a judge decides on custody of a child, they will examine all the facts and circumstances in the case, including the child’s present living arrangements. This will include the child’s current home and community, their school, and any other factors that might impact the well-being of the child. They will also consider the parents’ mental and physical health, any history of domestic violence or substance abuse, and any other relevant issues that might affect the child’s safety and happiness.

It is also important to note that, in the past, when a court awarded custody of a child to a parent, it usually required that the other parent sign a legal document called a “visitation agreement” or “parenting plan.” Fortunately, with Florida’s new laws, this is no longer a requirement. However, it is still highly recommended that both parties seek the assistance of a skilled attorney to draft and approve this document.

The main question that remains is, does an unmarried father have any rights? The answer is yes. In fact, Florida has been through a long battle for men’s rights and it is now the law that unmarried couples go through the same procedures as married parents when it comes to establishing custody, visitation, and child support arrangements.