Helping Guide Our Clients Through Difficult Family Matters

St. Petersburg Child Custody Lawyers

Fighting for the Best Interests of Your Loved Ones

During a divorce, one of the most difficult things to determine is child custody. First and foremost, the best interests of your children should guide this decision; however, things can get heated and perspectives can become skewed in court.

Before navigating this complicated legal decision, get trusted and experienced help from a skilled St. Petersburg child custody lawyer. At Plotnick Law, our attorneys share 24 years of experience and are equipped to help families throughout the Tampa Bay area make decisions that are best for their loved ones.

Let us help you through your circumstances. Call (727) 295-3558 to learn more about your options.

What Factors Are Considered in Determining Child Custody?

In Florida, the default is to allow both parents to share parental responsibility, meaning that the parents share responsibilities and make decisions together. If parents cannot agree on major decisions in the child’s life, a judge may have to step in and give one parent sole parental responsibility.

The following factors are considered when determining child custody:

  • Whether the parent will allow the child to have consistent contact with the other parent
  • Whether the parent is capable of providing a stable home environment
  • Whether the parent can provide necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, and care
  • Whether the parent is “morally fit”
  • Whether the parent has job security
  • Whether the parent has to travel regularly for his or her job
  • Whether the child has a strong emotional bond with the parent
  • Whether the parent has an intimate knowledge of the child’s preferences, health, education, etc…
  • Whether the parent has a history of abuse or neglect
  • Whether a third party will have to provide some of the parenting responsibilities
  • The home situation of a parent following a divorce
  • The child’s ties to the community and his or her school

Ideally, the child should have access to and a relationship with both parents. Even if one parent has sole parental responsibilities, the other parent should be included in the child’s life when it is in the child’s best interests.

How can a Mother Lose Custody of Her Child in Florida?

A mother in Florida can lose custody of her child through the following:

  • Abusing the child
  • Child abandonment/neglect
  • Have a history of drug/alcohol abuse
  • Have a serious mental illness

Florida courts are not willing to put a child in danger if the parent is prone to erratic or dangerous behaviors. Abusing your child or making false accusations of child abuse can lead to you losing custody of your child. Every allegation of child abuse will result in a temporary order preventing the accused from seeing the child, which is why false claims can harm both the child and the accused parent. If your home is also dirty you can also lose the the rights to your children. Allowing a child to live in unsanitary conditions or dirty home is a form of neglect. How do you know if your home is unsanitary? If the home has black mold, gas leaks, vermin, and other health hazards, it may be considered unsafe.

Parenting Plans in Florida

Florida requires that both parents create a parenting plan to meet each individual child’s needs. This plan has to be as detailed as possible, although it cannot anticipate every circumstance.

Parenting plans include the following, and more:

  • Which parent is responsible for the child’s health care
  • How much time the child will spend with each parent (a time-sharing plan)
  • How each parent will share the daily duties of raising a child
  • How the parents will deal with any unexpected issues that arise
  • Which parent will make educational decisions
  • How pick-ups and drop-offs will work
  • Which parent will make extra-curricular decisions
  • What mode of communication each parent will use when the child is with the other parent

With the help of an attorney, you can discuss your child’s needs and determine what an effective parenting plan would look like.

Call a St. Petersburg Child Custody Lawyer 24/7.

When the future of your children is on the line, it’s important to get legal counsel you can wholeheartedly trust. At Plotnick Law, we provide straightforward, honest communication about your case and can guide you through the process from start to finish.

We answer calls 24/7, so contact us today.

Guiding You Every Step of the Way

Plotnick Law Is Here to Help

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