Child Custody Attorneys
in Tallahassee, Florida

According to a recent study by Pew Research Center, about 23% of children in the United States, under 18 years, live in single-parent households. In most divorces, determining who gets custody or parenting time and how much each parent gets is a key concern. If you are considering a divorce or have just been served with divorce papers, consulting with a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney regarding parenting and custody of your children is important - particularly if you want detailed guidance.

With over 70 years of combined legal experience, the attorneys at Fournier Law are committed to providing comprehensive legal services in matters of divorce and child custody. We will help you understand the entire process and advise you regarding your options. Whether you need to establish or modify an existing child custody/parenting plan, we will offer you the guidance and advocacy you need and, as your legal counsel, we will fight passionately to protect your rights and your family's best interest.

Fournier Law is proud to serve clients throughout Florida.

Establishing a Child Custody or Parenting Plan in Florida

Family law matters involving children, such as; custody, child support, and timesharing of the children can be emotional and complicated.  It is the duty of Florida courts to diligently protect the child's welfare and best interest when rendering decisions as to parenting plans establishing or modifying the timesharing schedule and parental responsibility of the parents.  The parents, however, can work together to agree on a parenting plan (custody arrangment) that is mutually acceptable to them, and present the plan to the Florida court for approval. This option provides both parents with more control over the final outcome, it is the quickest, most cost-effective, and less difficult method. 

The alternative to agreeing is, of course, going to trial.  At trial, Judge will hear testimony and receive evidence from the parties/their lawyers and, then, make a decision as to the timesharing schedule (custody arrangement) based upon what the court determines to be in the best interest of the child(ren).  

In either scenario, an experienced family law attorney can help you achieve the best and most a positive outcome for your family and future.

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Parental Responsibility

“Parental responsibility” is each parent’s right to make decisions regarding such things as health, education, or religion on their child’s behalf. Florida law presumes shared parental responsibility (where both parents participate in decision-making) is in the best interest of the children and will, therefore, generally award it.  In order for the court to award one parent sole decision making authority as to one or more matter in the child's life, there must be evidence of harm or detriment to the child(ren). 

Best Interests of the Child

When deciding custody or time-sharing matters, Florida courts must make decisions based on the Best Interest of the Child standard.  The some of the factors outlined in Chapter 61, Florida Statutes are:

  • The ability of each parent to meet the child's needs and consider the child's interests above their own
  • The willingness of each parent to facilitate a positive relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The child's developmental age, needs, and abilities
  • The involvement of each parent in providing for the child and meeting the child's needs
  • The geographic locations of the parent's homes and the child's attachment within the community
  • The moral fitness, physical health, and mental health of each parent
  • Evidence of domestic violence or abuse
  • Evidence of substance abuse
  • The ability of each parent to provide a safe and stable environment for the child

Modifying an Existing Child Custody Arrangement

An existing child custody arrangement may be modified by the Florida court when:

  • Both parents mutually agree to a modification;
  • There is a "substantial material change in circumstance that was unanticipated at the time of the last order," such as; the loss of a job, change in the physical or mental health, or change in the work schedule; or
  • The court has entered a final judgment of injunction for protection against domestic violence against one of the parents.

The parent requesting a Court to modify their current time-sharing schedule or custody arrangment must meet his/her burden of proving that a modification is warranted under the law and that the modfiication is in the best interest of the child.

Why You Should Hire a Family Law Attorney

Any time issues arise affecting a parent's time with or access to their children, it can be emotional and difficult. This is why consulting with a knowledgeable Florida family law attorney is crucial.  You want to have experienced family law attorneys who can guide you, protect your rights and to help you do what is in the best interest of your family.

Our team of experienced Florida child custody attorneys at Fournier Law have dedicated their careers to handling matters of family law and child custody. As your legal counsel, we will provide you with the comprehensive guidance you need to establish or modify a child custody arrangement.

We offer you the experienced legal counsel and advocacy you need to navigate key decisions in your child custody proceedings.

Experienced Child Custody Attorneys Serving Tallahassee, Florida

If you are trying to establish or modify a parenting plan, contact Fournier Law today for a one-on-one case evaluation. Our attorneys will help you understand your rights, review your options, and fight vigorously to protect your family's best interest and future. We proudly serve clients in Tallahassee, Florida, Big Bend, and counties throughout Florida.