A Child Custody Attorney Working To Preserve Parent-Child Relationships After Divorce

The end of a marriage does not mean the end of parenting, but rather the beginning of a different parenting style. Decisions about child custody and parenting time tend to be emotional and difficult if both parties cannot reach an agreement. However, the priority of the law is to protect the child’s best interests, and that often means promoting a strong relationship with both parents.

If you are currently facing a child custody dispute in northern Florida, the Law Offices of J. Anthony Franco, PLLC, is here to help you find a resolution. Attorney J. Anthony Franco has nearly a decade of experience helping caring parents protect their children’s interests as well as their own parental rights. He will work just as hard for you and your kids.

Dedicated Service And Supportive Guidance In All Aspects Of Your Child Custody Matter

For reasons explained later on this page, it is highly likely that you and your ex will share your children’s time. When you contact the firm’s Tampa office, attorney Franco will take the time to review the details of your case, explain your options and help you create the most appropriate legal strategy to achieve your goals.

Mr. Franco is ready to assist with all your child custody related needs, including:

  • Development of parenting plans: These plans detail the custody schedule and most other aspects of post-divorce parenting. They are necessary documents for all co-parents, whether they are getting divorced or were never married.
  • Time-sharing: This will be based on the facts and circumstances of your situation. Typically, both parents will get nearly equal time with their children unless there are compelling reasons for a judge to approve an unequal custody award.
  • Custody modifications: These may be sought by either parent in cases where, due to a substantial change in circumstances, the current custody order may no longer meet the best interests of the children.
  • Fathers’ rights issues: Although Florida law gives no preference to parents of either gender, long-standing societal biases sometimes make it more difficult for fathers in custody matters. Mr. Franco is passionate about protecting the parental rights of men and women alike.

Whenever possible, a negotiated custody agreement tends to work best for all involved and give both parents more control over the outcome. If your case can be negotiated, attorney Franco will help you pursue this option, potentially saving time, money and stress. If your co-parent will not negotiate in good faith or an agreement cannot be reached, Mr. Franco will use his substantial litigation experience to advocate aggressively for your desired outcome in court.

Tracking The Evolution Of Florida Family Laws

Recent changes in the Sunshine State’s legislature impact multiple areas of the state’s family laws, and these changes will likely play a role in your child custody proceedings.

Previously, Florida law made clear that there should be no bias toward or against parents of either gender. A change in the law seemingly puts that equality ideal into action. As of July 2023, when courts allocate custody, they must begin with the presumption of equal time-sharing, in which each parent cares for their child for 50% of the time. This presumption can be rebutted by one parent, but only if they (and their attorney) can successfully demonstrate that an unequal allocation of parenting time would be in their children’s best interests.

Under the new law, it is also easier to petition for a modification in custody and time-sharing plans. Previously, petitioning parents needed to demonstrate that there had been a substantial and material change in circumstances and that the change could not have been anticipated at the time the current order was written. The new law removes the “unanticipated” provision. Parents only need to prove the change was substantial and material.

The final change allows parents who live more than 50 miles apart to modify their parenting plan if one moves within 50 miles of the other. The relocation could be considered a substantial and material change in circumstance.

Attorney Franco can help you understand Florida’s evolving child custody laws and exercise your rights under them.

Talk To An Attorney About Your Family’s Future

You deserve to work with a lawyer who cares about you and will work tirelessly to seek the best available outcome for you and your children. That’s one of many reasons why you should contact the Law Offices of J. Anthony Franco, PLLC. You can request a consultation online or call the firm’s Tampa office at 813-608-4024.