Tampa Child Custody Attorney
If you have children and find yourself going through a divorce, thoughts about how those children will be cared for, raised and supported are probably chief among your concerns for the future. Child custody issues loom large in a divorce, but with the right advice and representation, you can create a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule that works for you, the other parent, and most important of all, the children. A Tampa child custody attorney at The Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A., is here to make that happen.
How does Florida law deal with child custody matters?
Florida child custody laws start with the proposition that every minor child should have frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage is dissolved. The policy of the state encourages parents to share the rights, responsibilities and joys of childrearing. The court will therefore order shared custody or shared parental responsibility every time unless one parent can prove that shared custody would be detrimental to the child.
After deciding that the parents will share custody, the real work goes into the details. The parents need to come together and create a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule that describes when the children will live with each parent and how important child-rearing decisions will be made. The more detail provided in the plan, the better it will operate, and the less likely disputes will arise that need to be fought out in court. At a minimum, Florida child custody law requires a parenting plan to address all of the following:
- 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 that the minor child will spend with each parent;
- Who will be responsible for health care;
- Who will be responsible for school-related matters, including the address to be used for school-boundary determination and registration;
- Who will be responsible for other activities; and
- The methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.
What if we can’t agree on a parenting plan?
Attorney Laura A. Olson helps parents work out practical parenting plans that meet their needs through negotiation or mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached, we provide strong and effective representation in court to guide the judge toward implementing a parenting plan that meets your needs and those of your children. The judge will look at 20 statutory factors to decide what plan is best. As an experienced courtroom litigator, Laura A. Olson knows how to prepare the evidence and present a strong case to guide the judge on each relevant factor. These statutory factors include, among many others:
- Each parent’s capacity and disposition to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, honor the time-sharing schedule, and be reasonable when changes are needed
- How parental responsibilities will be divided
- The capacity and disposition of each parent to act on the needs of the children instead of their own needs or desires
- The child’s needs for continuity in a stable environment, and the geographic viability of the parenting plan, including the time a school-age child would spend traveling for custody exchanges
- Any history of substance abuse, child abuse or domestic violence, including one parent filing false reports about the other parent
- The particular parenting tasks that each parent customarily performed before the divorce
- How much each parent has stayed involved in the child’s education and extracurricular activities
- How well each parent is protecting the children from the divorce proceedings
- The developmental stages and needs of the child and each parent’s ability to meet those needs
Get the Parenting Plan that is Right for You and Your Children in Your Tampa Divorce
If you are going through a divorce, or if you were never married but find yourself in a child custody dispute or need to establish parental rights, call the Law Office of Laura A. Olson, P.A., at 813-222-0888 for a free, initial consultation on your Tampa child custody legal needs.