Child Custody and Timesharing
Child Custody and Timesharing in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota, Pinellas County, and surrounding West Florida areas.
Child custody, or "timesharing," as the Florida Statutes now refer to it, is often one of the most important issues to parents who are going through a divorce, or in the case of unmarried parents, a paternity action. The Court will determine child custody based on the child’s best interest. Several factors weigh in on this determination, including fitness as a parent, historical parental roles, stability and safety of the home, and the desire that the child build and keep a relationship with both parents. In the great majority of cases, there will be shared parental responsibility where both parents remain meaningfully involved with the child. In a very small percentage of cases, a Court will award sole parental responsibility because one parent has acted in a way that manifests a lack of capability to act in the best interest of the child.
Florida law is largely protective of children. Florida law recognizes that, under shared parental responsibility, both parents have rights and responsibilities with their children and share in major decision-making. Neither parent has the right, and hopefully not the opportunity, to use the children as a weapon or for revenge purposes.
If at all possible, you and the other parent should determine what happens with the children, timesharing and otherwise. If not, the Court will decide. Should the Court have to decide, a Judge can appoint an evaluator to advise the Court on children matters. These evaluators are sensitive to the potential and actual harm children encounter when their parents divorce, as are our Judges. Children may not go to depositions and will not be in a courtroom, absent extremely compelling reasons.
Our firm has positive relationships within the mental health community to both meet your children’s counseling needs and, where necessary, to obtain expert testimony on disputed matters.
We will work with you in the best interest of your children, whether it involves custodial matters, child support, parenting plans, timesharing, or geographic considerations. To learn more about parenting plans and mental health professionals, please visit our informative topic panel to the left.
If you need assistance with child custody, divorce, paternity suits, or other family law matters, please contact our office, as our attorneys have extensive experience in child custody disputes in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa, Sarasota, Pinellas County, and the surrounding West Florida areas.