Custody & Visitation

Custody & Visitation

Child Support Tampa FL

Custody & Visitation in Tampa
The Florida family law courts and custody statutes define two separate but linked issues: parenting time (timesharing) and parental responsibility. Timesharing is the time that you are with your child(ren). This used to be considered custody and visitation. Parental responsibility defines who makes the decisions about your child(ren). In most situations, it is shared. However, in some cases, one parent has the final decision for all decision or for certain decisions. Families enter into parenting plans with specific timesharing schedules. Many judges no longer allow vague schedules because of the post-judgment issues they can create. Instead, timesharing schedules should be specific and include details about holidays and school breaks. Parenting plans also address many common issues, such as child support and parental responsibility.

Custody & Visitation Solutions
The attorneys of Open Palm Law will help you to craft a detailed parenting plan that includes specific time for both parents and that addresses all other important issues related to your children. If you are unable to reach an agreement, Open Palm Law can help you argue in court why your desired parenting plan is appropriate.

Call 813-870-3839

FAQs for Custody & Visitation

What is the best way to keep the father of my unborn child from ever getting any visitation or custody?

Read the provisions of 61.13(3) to see what you are up against. This is how people are supposed to get along with the other parent and their child, and you cannot go into court and just say you don’t want the father to be in your child’s life. This statute is made to apply in paternity proceedings by the case law. There are many factors that will work for you, and many that can work against you, depending upon what you say and do. Get counsel.

How can I make sure my 15-year old gets to go on overseas for her eighth-grade trip when my ex and her father says he is taking her for the whole summer?

First and foremost, you should thoroughly review your parenting plan to see if there is language governing this situation. It is common practice to include language that instructs the parents how to handle in-state, out-of-state, and international travel. The sections usually contain strict deadlines for the amount of time that needs to be given for advanced notice and may include additional instructions. In the event this was overlooked and is not containing your parenting plan, I would strongly urge you to work collaboratively with your ex because this trip is for the benefit of the child in many ways. Additionally, if the concern is that this will take away some of her time with that parent over the summer, there is nothing to prevent you and your ex from making slight modifications in your time-sharing schedule for the remainder of the year in order to equalize the time between parents in a matter that satisfies both parties. If you can do this, you should be able to avoid having to go to court to litigate this matter because that is always regarded as a last case resort.

My girlfriend and I have been living together for over five years. We have two children together. I am on both birth certificates and the financial provider. She has never worked since our first child’s birth. If my girlfriend leaves me and takes the children, what are my timesharing rights? This is not about child support. I know what my obligation is. Is there something the two of us can fill out to create a joint timesharing agreement and have signed and notarized without being married?

Unfortunately, at the moment, you do not have any “rights” to the children because you were not married at the time of their births. You would have to file a Petition to Establish Paternity, and the court would then lay out a parenting plan for you.

How is child custody determined?

In a divorce, child custody should be determined according to what is in the best interest of the child. More and more judges are now ordering 50/50 timesharing arrangements.

Can my spouse prevent me from seeing my children?

Courts begin with the assumption that it is best for a child to have ongoing and frequent contact with both parents. Only if the court finds that a parent poses a threat to a child’s welfare will this assumption be altered. Even where there has been abuse or neglect, courts will often impose limits on contact, such as ordering that visits be supervised, rather than cutting off all contact.



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“Joryn was simply amazing. Her supporting, consistent, honest, and most importantly – productive – approach was exactly what I needed to get through the process. A court trial was imminent if we did not have a successful mediation (the third one!), and no other attorney was able to focus the entire team like Joryn.”Danielle, January 2016



Open Palm in Tampa, Florida is proud to present our firm’s founder, Joryn Jenkins. Please take a moment to read about her qualifications to assist you. We also invite you to view her resume.

In the beginning, Ms. Jenkins worked for one of the ten largest law firms in the country in its Washington, D.C. office. After nearly three years practicing in all aspects of regulatory law, she took a break from big firm life to work exclusively for one of her own clients on a class action involving more than fifty sex discrimination claims in California. When she returned to the East Coast, she accepted an offer from the state attorney in Tampa, E.J. Salcines (now an appellate judge). CONTINUE READING…