Child Custody Lawyer
Family Law & Divorce Law Firm

Tallahassee Child Custody Lawyer

If you are separated from your child’s other parent, you need the assistance of a child custody lawyer who will stand by your side through any legal issues that arise. Many people only seek legal advice if there is a dispute or complication. But a Tallahassee child custody lawyer can guide you through the legal process from the beginning, as well as help you understand your rights.

At Liebenhaut Hesser, we know that parents will not always agree on what is best for their children. We believe it is possible to handle issues efficiently. We will help you seek a resolution that works for all parties involved. Call a child custody lawyer today at 850-270-6977 to find out how we can help you.

Changes to Child Custody Law in Florida

Child custody in Florida has changed over the last decade. In 2008, the Florida legislature eliminated certain words from the law that give a connotation of control of a child, including the following:

  • Custody
  • Custodial
  • Non-custodial parent
  • Primary residence
  • Primary residential parent
  • Visitation

Instead, the courts use terms that address the responsibilities of parents, which are believed to be a more accurate depiction of what actually happens in a situation between children and parents who are separated. Those terms include the following:

  • Shared parental responsibility
  • Sole parental responsibility
  • Majority time-sharing
  • Equal time-sharing

Although laws and courts use different terminology, many parents, teachers, schools, daycare centers, and other people who interact with children still use terms like custody and visitation. When dealing with any custody issue, a Tallahassee child custody lawyer can help you navigate the constantly changing legal arena in Florida.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

In most child custody cases, parents develop a parenting plan that allocates parental responsibilities and time-sharing. Parenting plans may be simple with allowances for ongoing agreements between parents, or they may be complex with specific details for each party to follow. In either case, a child custody lawyer is essential in helping you establish a parenting plan that works for everyone involved. You may not think of every detail that needs to be included in such an agreement; however, the attorneys at Liebenhaut Hesser will help you address every issue that may come up now and in the future.

Parenting plans often cover the following:

  • Educational plans for the child, including which schools they will attend
  • Which parent is responsible for making health-related decisions and paying for health care
  • Which parent is responsible for child care options and costs
  • Who pays for extra-curricular and after-school activities
  • How time will be allocated between parents
  • Issues involving discipline
  • Methods of communication among parents and children
  • All other responsibilities parents have to a child and parental rights

If parents cannot develop a parenting plan that they agree on, the court will issue an order addressing parental rights and responsibilities. Court orders rarely make all parties happy. It’s best to work with a Tallahassee child custody lawyer to develop a parenting plan that is best for both parents and the children involved.

Factors the Court Considers in Establishing Parental Responsibilities

Whether a court makes an order or parents develop a parenting plan, it will be reviewed to determine what is in your child’s best interests. Thus, if a parenting plan does not support a child’s well-being, a court may ask additional questions. However, this is rare. When you work with a child custody lawyer to establish a parenting plan, the court typically assumes that it is in the child’s best interests for parents to agree on parental rights and responsibilities.

If the court establishes an order regarding parental responsibilities, it will consider the following:

  • Willingness of both parents to honor a time-sharing plan
  • Both parents’ support of the child’s relationship with the other parent
  • Ability to support a child’s mental, physical, and emotional health
  • Ability to attend and support school-related and extra-curricular activities
  • Stability of both parents’ home environments
  • The health of both parents
  • Legal issues, such as domestic violence, child abuse, or sex crimes
  • The child’s wishes, with the court weighing their age, maturity, and intelligence

A Tallahassee Child Custody Lawyer at Liebenhaut Law Can Help You

If you and your child’s other parent are separating, or if you have questions about a child custody situation or parenting plans, a divorce lawyer at Liebenhaut Hesser can help you. We have extensive experience working with families seeking a parenting plan that benefits all parties. We are also skilled in modifying parenting plans and establishing new terms. Call us today at 850-270-6977.