Fair Custody Agreements in the Best Interests of Your Children
Our children are the most important parts of our lives, and the uncertainty surrounding the divorce process can put them under an incredible amount of stress. Not only do we need to make the extra effort to ensure that they feel safe and secure throughout the divorce process, we need to make sure that they end up in the situation that benefits them the most once you and your spouse sign the final agreement.
Robert Sparks Attorneys has been safeguarding the rights and best interests of children and their parents for numerous decades. We bring decades of collective legal experience to every child custody case our Tampa family lawyers handle. Our legal team has always been focused on upholding stability in the life of children. We understand how volatile this time can be for them, as well as yourself, which is why we make the process as smooth as possible.
Don’t trust your child custody case to just anyone. Turn to the board-certified lawyers at our Florida family law firm today by calling (813) 336-3348.
Creating a Parenting Plan
Since October 1, 2008, the state of Florida now requires that a parenting plan be created for family law cases involving children that are minors. This plan must include details on how each of the child’s parents will be responsible for raising the child. The plan may include a general parenting outline covering the basic physical and legal roles of each parent.
Some of the aspects covered in a parenting plan may include:
- Everyday activities and tasks
- Overall healthcare of a child
- School events and required functions
- Communication between a child and parent
- A game plan for holidays, special events, and similar days
The court will always side in favor of what’s best for the children involved when determining how the parenting plan is set up. Unless the court’s custody ruling heavily favors one spouse over the other, you will need to remain in contact with your spouse and keep them updated on what you plan to do during your time with your children. This means that it is in the best interest of both you and your children to maintain at least a cordial relationship with your spouse, no matter what events led up to your divorce.
Determining Child Custody: Factors Considered
When the court is trying to determine child custody or approve of a suggested parenting plan, the best interests of the child will be their top priority. This is the same approach our firm takes when handling child custody cases. We make sure to honor the best interests of your child at every turn, helping you develop a parenting plan that ensures your child is supported and cared for. More than that, we make sure the plan is appropriate for court and meets the expectations of the judge.
The following factors will play a part in the custody ruling:
- How long your child has lived in their current environment
- Whether or not the need to maintain continuity is necessary
- The mental, physical, and moral standing of both parents
- If approved by the court, the child’s preference
- The work schedule and free time of each parent
- Each parent’s ability to maintain a stable environment
- Any incidents of domestic violence, abuse, or drug use
While these are just a few of the many factors the court will look at when trying to decide on a child custody ruling, they can all have a major impact on the final outcome. If you and the other parent are able to come up with a custody plan together, you will simply need the court to approve it. If not, you will need the judge to make a final ruling. Either way, our firm can stand beside you during this time.
Need Legal Counsel? Reach Out to Our Firm!
The entire legal team at Robert Sparks Attorneys is either board-certified or backed by a board-certified attorney throughout the entire legal process, which means you get optimal counsel and support throughout your child custody matters. Our award-winning lawyers go above and beyond to ensure your best interests are not only protected but upheld during this time. You can be confident when you come to Robert Sparks Attorneys.
Contact a Tampa child custody attorney at our firm today. We look forward to assisting you.
Child Custody FAQs
Q: Will my children have to testify in court?
A: In general, the courts have a strong public policy of protecting children from court proceedings and testimony of children is usually frowned upon. There is a steadfast rule that children are not allowed in court hearings without express permission from the judge. This is designed to protect children from the emotional harm the child might experience from having to testify against a parent. As always, there may be an exception. In rare occasions, the court may hear testimony from the minor child if the court determines the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding and experience to express a preference. In these rare situations, the child is usually older and will speak with the judge alone without any lawyers present.