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Child Custody

Experienced Melbourne Family Lawyers Handle Child Custody Issues

Caring Florida attorneys assert parental rights and advocate for children

In Florida, child custody and visitation are together referred to as “time sharing.” The state’s public policy is that children should have “frequent and continuing contact” with each parent after a divorce or separation except to the extent a court determines it would be detrimental. The experienced family lawyers at Tucker Mitnik P.A. help parents in the Melbourne, Rockledge and Brevard County area seek fair time-sharing arrangements. Since 1989, we have assisted local families in achieving negotiated settlements and in pursuing just results through litigation.

Committed lawyers pursue favorable legal and physical time sharing orders

In deciding a time-sharing arrangement, a Florida court will either approve a parenting plan created by the parents or impose its own — based in either case on what is in the best interests of the child. The plan will establish one of the following:

  • Equal time-sharing — A court order for shared parental responsibility maintains the full parental rights and obligations of both parents to make decisions about the child’s health and welfare. For equal time-sharing, the child will spend the same amount of time with each parent.
  • Majority time-sharing — Even if both parents maintain their full parental rights, the child will likely live primarily with the residential parent. In that event, the non-residential parent is most-often entitled to spend substantial time with the child.

A judge considers a number of factors when making a time-sharing ruling, such as:

  • Parental cooperation — Courts look to see that parents can respect one another. The more that parents show cooperation, the more likely it is that they will achieve a mutually acceptable time-sharing plan.
  • Parental fitness — Each parent’s physical and mental health is considered, as well as their “moral fitness” and their capacity to put their child’s needs above their own.
  • Continuity — A judge may find it more beneficial for the child to continue living in a stable and satisfactory home environment.
  • Child’s wishes — The preferences of the children, particularly when they are teenagers, can be taken into account in determining with which parent they will spend the most time.

We gather and prepare the evidence needed to demonstrate that our clients are well-suited to providing a stable environment and that the child will benefit from their sustained involvement.

Skilled Brevard County attorneys work out parenting plans and modifications

Our firm drafts and negotiates time-sharing plans that protect our clients’ right to participate in decisions regarding their children’s education, religion, cultural identity, medical care, extracurricular activities and special needs. When there is a substantial and unanticipated change in family circumstances after the initial parenting time plan is established, we can petition for a modification.

Approving or modifying a parenting time plan becomes more complicated when parents live in different states or one parent plans a move. All 50 states have adopted the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, under which a child custody matter is generally decided in the state where a child has lived for six months immediately prior to the legal action, or the state where the child and parent have the strongest home ties.

To relocate with the child across state lines, the residential parent requires either the non-residential parent’s formal approval or a court order. A parenting time arrangement that works for both parents may involve the child spending summer vacations or holidays with the non-residential parent and the majority of time with the residential parent. We are experienced in working out solutions that suit the child’s best interests while making sure parents’ obligations under the plan are reasonable.

Contact a seasoned Florida family lawyer for help with child custody issues

The focused family law attorneys at Tucker Mitnik P.A. advocate for Brevard County, Rockledge and Melbourne parents dealing with child custody matters. To schedule a consultation, call us at 321-392-5239 or contact us online.

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  • Melbourne Office
    5425 Village Drive
    Suite 105
    Melbourne, Florida 32955
    Phone: 321-735-8956