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Child Custody Lawyer in Sarasota, Florida

Child custody refers to the legal rights and responsibilities of parents in raising their children. When parents separate or divorce, determining who will have custody of their child can be a complicated process. It involves considerations of physical custody—where the child will live—and legal custody—who will make important decisions about the child's education, healthcare, and overall welfare.  

Since the welfare of the child must be prioritized, courts usually consider factors such as the child's age, emotional ties to each parent, and each parent's ability to provide for the child's needs. A well-structured custody arrangement provides stability and continuity in the child's life and creates a positive environment for growth and development.  

The child custody attorney at Coyne Law P.A. understands that child custody matters are among the most important and sensitive issues families face. As a parent, your top priority is always your child’s well-being and future. Coyne Law P.A. can help you find the best solutions for your family's needs. 

Types of Child Custody 

There are two main types of custody: 

Physical Custody 

  • Refers to where the child lives day-to-day. 

  • Can be sole (one parent) or joint (both parents share). 

  • Sole physical custody means the child lives primarily with one parent while the other may have visitation rights. 

  • Joint physical custody involves the child splitting time between both homes, which requires effective cooperation and proximity to ensure the child's routine is not disrupted. 

Legal Custody 

  • Involves decision-making power over key aspects of the child's life. 

  • Often shared between both parents, even if one parent has sole physical custody. 

  • Decisions covered under legal custody include those related to education, health care, religious upbringing, and extracurricular activities. 

  • Joint legal custody requires parents to communicate and make mutual decisions in the best interests of the child. If one parent has sole legal custody, they can make these decisions independently. 

Need Child Custody Help?

Call Coyne Law P.A.

The Child Custody Process with Coyne Law P.A. 

Here’s what you can expect when you work with Coyne Law P.A.

  1. Initial consultation to discuss your case and explain your options. 

  1. Filing the petition with the necessary legal documents to start the custody process. 

  1. Negotiate to reach an agreement with the other parent and aim to settle without going to court if possible. 

  1. Court proceedings where they present a strong case to the judge on your behalf. This happens if no agreement is reached. 

  1. Final custody order that outlines the terms of physical and legal custody. 

Child Custody Laws in Florida 

Florida family law courts prioritize the child’s best interests when making custody decisions. Here are some key points under Florida law: 

  • Best interests standard: Judges consider factors such as the child’s age, health, emotional ties to each parent, and each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment. to determine what will best serve the child’s welfare. 

  • Shared parental responsibility: Florida courts prefer to award shared parental responsibility, where both parents have equal rights and responsibilities in raising the child. 

  • Parenting plans: Florida requires a parenting plan that outlines how parents will share the responsibilities and decision-making in all custody cases. 

  • Modification of custody orders: Custody orders can be modified if circumstances significantly change to ensure the arrangement continues to serve the child’s best interests. 

  • Relocation of a parent: When one parent wishes to move more than 50 miles away from their current residence, Florida law requires them to obtain either the consent of the other parent or court approval. The court considers factors such as the reason for the move, the impact on the child’s relationship with the non-relocating parent, and the potential benefits of the move to the child. 

  • Grandparent visitation rights: Grandparents may petition for visitation rights in Florida if the family situation meets specific criteria, such as a child's parental home being unfit or parental death. 

  • Domestic violence considerations: A parent with a history of domestic violence in Florida may face restrictions or supervised visits to ensure the child’s safety. 

  • Parenting courses: Florida law mandates that parents involved in a custody dispute attend a parenting course. The course covers topics such as the impact of separation on children and effective co-parenting strategies. 

Child Custody Attorney in Sarasota, Florida

Coyne Law P.A. provides compassionate legal support for clients in Sarasota, FL, and throughout Sarasota County, including Bee Ridge, Fruitville, Nokomis, Venice, Manasota, North Port, Manatee County, Bradenton, Palmetto, Lakewood Ranch, Myakka City, and Duette. No matter where you are located, Coyne Law P.A. is ready to assist you with your child custody and divorce needs. Your child’s future is too important to leave to chance. Call today to schedule your consultation.