Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody

Michelle A. Barry, P.A., is a Central Florida law firm committed to providing trustworthy counsel and strong representation in a wide array of family law matters. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive in regard to child custody and visitation:

I Hear A Lot About "Parenting Plans." What Are They?

Florida legal terminology has changed in recent years. Instead of "child custody and visitation," the law actually calls those "parenting time." Instead of a child custody and visitation arrangement, parents create a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule. The new terms are intended to make the roles feel more equal.

What Can I Do To Win Custody Of My Children?

Ideally, the court wants parents to cooperate in raising their children. The best thing to do to gain the court's approval is to facilitate a warm, loving relationship between your child and the other parent. The worst thing to do is to hide the child from the other parent or try to destroy that relationship. Such parental alienation not only harms your child, but it can seriously jeopardize your position.

If I'm Unmarried, What Parental Rights Do I Have?

Not much until you establish paternity. While women are automatically assumed to be the mother of their child, the same is not true for men. While a married man is presumed to be the legal father of a child born in Florida, an unmarried man must establish paternity before he is given parental rights and can seek custody of or visitation with his child.

When Is It Necessary To Seek Paternity Testing In A Custody Case?

There are several situations in which it may be necessary to get DNA testing to establish paternity. The first is in situations where a mother is asking a father to pay child support and the pair is not married. The second is in situations where an unmarried father wants to see his child or be a part of their child's life and the mother is refusing to allow visitation. The third is in situations where a married father questions the paternity of his child, such as if the child does not look like him.

Can I Relocate To A Different City, State Or Country With My Children?

You must have the court's permission to modify an existing parenting plan. When deciding whether or not to grant a relocation request, the court will look at 19 different factors. Our attorney can explain what all those factors are and how they are likely to affect your goals.

My Situation Has Changed. Can I Get My Time-Sharing Arrangement Altered?

In order to seek modification of a court order, you need to have experienced a significant change in circumstances — such as the loss of a job for an extended period of time, a move more than 50 miles away from your child or a job change that causes your income to increase or decrease.

As A Grandparent, Can I Get Custody Of My Grandchildren?

Yes, under certain conditions, it is possible for grandparents and other extended family members to gain temporary custody. We have also helped grandparents seek the legal right to visit their grandchildren.

Have More Questions? Contact Our Firm.

To discuss your particular questions and concerns with our lawyer, Michelle A. Barry, call our office in Longwood today at 407-622-4529 (toll free 888-351-8303) or send us an email. A free 15-minute initial telephone consultation is available to discuss your case. Email documents to us prior to a call for the most beneficial use of your time. In-person consultations are available at a reduced rate that will be put toward a retainer.