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Pasco County, FL Child Custody Lawyer

As a divorcing parent, your top priority is your child. Unfortunately, custody matters are often quite complex and require the intervention of a compassionate and skilled child custody lawyer. If you’re looking to retain custody of your child or need help negotiating a custody agreement that protects your child’s best interests, contact The Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, P.A. today.

Child Custody Lawyer | Here for Families in Pasco County & throughout Florida

Our firm has decades of experience representing parents facing divorce, and we’re here to proudly represent you as well. If you need a dedicated Pasco County, FL family law attorney to fight in your corner, you are in the right place.

Types of Child Custody in Florida

In the state of Florida, there are two types of custody: joint custody and sole custody. Joint custody means both parents retain at least some level of custody, while sole custody means only one parent has custody of a child.

That said, within joint custody, there are two key distinctions: physical and legal custody. Essentially, legal custody gives a parent the legal right to make certain important decisions on behalf of a child, such as those involving education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. On the other hand, physical custody refers to where a child will live and who will have primary responsibility for the child’s daily care. Courts would prefer to grant parents joint physical and legal custody, but if they believe doing so would act against a child’s best interests, they likely won’t grant joint custody.

Factors Considered When Determining Child Custody in Florida

First and foremost, you should understand that the core of any child custody agreement is the child’s best interests. To determine what custody agreement would act in a child’s best interests, courts will typically consider several factors. They are as follows:

  • Each parent’s work schedule
  • The child’s physical and emotional needs
  • The bond the child shares with each parent
  • The child’s safety (i.e. whether there is a record of abuse, drug/alcohol addiction, or neglect by either parent)
  • The child’s cultural background
  • If the child is old or mature enough, whether he or she has a preference
  • Each parent’s ability to provide financial support
  • The child’s relationship with siblings and other family members
  • Any other factor the court deems relevant in determining the child’s best interest

Once a court determines a custody agreement, this agreement will essentially become the law of the land, and both parents are required, by law, to abide by it. If one parent fails to do so, the other can seek enforcement of the custody agreement with a seasoned child custody lawyer.

Updating a Child Custody Agreement

Though child custody agreements are legally binding, it doesn’t mean they are permanent. For example, if either parent or their child has undergone a significant and unforeseen change in circumstances that renders the child custody agreement unenforceable in some way, it may warrant a modification to the custody agreement. For example, if one parent wants to move out of state with a child, it will likely negatively affect the other parent’s ability to visit the child. In this case, the parent seeking a modification will have to hire a lawyer who can convince the court to grant a modification to the initial custody agreement.

Contact a Wesley Chapel Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody matters are sensitive. Our firm is here to assure you that your child’s best interests will be our number one concern through each step of the process. If you need help or a lawyer who can best represent you, look no further than The Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna, P.A. today.

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