Do I Need an Attorney for My Child Custody Case?

Some people insist that child custody matters do not require the input and experience of a professional child custody attorney. Too often, these do-it-yourselfers, much like untrained homeowners who choose to repair plumbing leaks on their own, end up underwater. Your concern for the outcome of your case warrants having someone eminently competent in charge of drafting, reviewing, and filing documents, keeping track of deadlines and court dates, and strategizing the best way forward.

At Orlando Family Team, we know that child custody is typically the most complex and emotional part of any separation or divorce. Relegating it to a decision made by two disputing parents who are in the midst of a turbulent situation is unwise. You have everything to gain by consulting with us before making a decision that may not be in your best interest or in the best interests of your child. 

Though Florida law does not require that you use an attorney, having a highly-skilled legal advocate at your side may stop you from making a serious mistake that may shape the life of your newly restructured family for years to come. 

Despite the fact that Florida now recognizes that mothers and fathers have equal child custody rights, you don’t want to find yourself locked in a conflict that the court will have to settle. Contacting one of our knowledgeable child custody attorneys will give you an advantage when it comes to negotiating a fair compromise with your child’s other parent.

We Will Make Sure You Have a Clear Understanding of All the Issues

Because it is always a good idea to make an informed decision, Orlando’s husband and wife child custody team will clarify the myriad issues tied to child custody arrangements, including:

  • Parenting time involving joint physical custody or sole custody with plentiful visitation rights on some weeknights, weekends, holidays, & summer vacations 
  • Child support, based on many factors, including parent incomes, assets, physical custody and whether one parent has supported the other’s education & advancement
  • Parental decision-making (previously known as “legal custody”) in regard to the child’s education, medical care, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities
  • Parental information sharing to fulfill each parent’s responsibility to keep the other parent informed about educational progress, behavioral conduct, accidents and illnesses
  • Communication arrangements in which parents must agree on terms under which they keep in touch, both in terms of frequency and technologies employed
  • Accusations or evidence of child abuse or domestic violence
  • Substantiated abuse of alcohol or drugs 
  • Possible paternity questions that may have to be resolved through DNA testing

Once you have a clear understanding of these issues, we will assist you in negotiating terms of child custody that are fair and reasonable and with which you and your child feel as comfortable as possible.

Having a Child Custody Attorney May Help You Resolve Your Issues Out of Court

Too often, even the most well-intentioned parents become frustrated and angry during attempts to resolve child custody issues. Without attorneys as referees, the conversation can become too contentious to be continued, leaving the court to decide which parent the child will live with. The court will consider: 

  • Whether and for how long the child has lived in a stable environment
  • The emotional bonds existing between the child and each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to meet the child’s needs for food, clothing, shelter and healthcare
  • Willingness of each parent to help maintain a continuing close relationship between the child and the other parent
  • Mental and physical condition of both parents
  • Moral fitness of both parents in ways that affect the child
  • Evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, alcohol or drug abuse by either parent
  • Wishes of a child old enough to have her or his preference considered

Though the judge may invest time and energy in weighing these options, she or he may not decide in your favor. If you are the more emotional of the two parents, you may be at a distinct disadvantage, unable to give a calm, reasoned presentation of the facts. 

Though a negotiation can become contentious, if it results in a court case you will have one of our agile lawyers fighting for your rights with tactics that have proven persuasive, in a manner appropriate for the courtroom. 

Other Reasons to Have a Sharp Child Custody Attorney in Your Corner

In the end, when it comes to your child and how she or he will be affected by child custody arrangements, everything matters. Any of the red flags listed below should be sufficient to convince you to consult with one of our attorneys: 

  • Your soon-to-be-ex has hired a lawyer and you realize that you are outmatched
  • Your child’s other parent has reneged on a previous agreement 
  • The other parent has become combative or is acting strangely
  • You feel your child is in danger in the other parent’s home
  • The other parent is talking about relocating with the child
  • The other parent has a new live-in partner with whom your child is uncomfortable
  • The other parent is making it difficult for you to see your child
  • You have a criminal conviction on your record or have a history of abusive behavior
  • Your or your child’s other parent wants to modify a previous child custody arrangement

At Orlando Family Team, we are good listeners. Once we understand your situation fully, we will work on creating a winning strategy to provide the best possible outcome during negotiations or at trial. This holds true whether you are negotiating child custody for the first time or revisiting an existing agreement.

Contact Our Accomplished Orlando Child Custody Attorney Now 

Don’t try to go it alone when you are fighting for the well-being of your child. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we will get the lay of the land and begin working on your case. Your new family structure deserves the strong legal representation Orlando Family Team can provide. We have the tools and personal commitment necessary to protect your rights and the rights of your child.