Supportive Counsel You Can Rely On

Experienced Orlando Child Custody Attorneys

The Virga Law Firm, P.A. can help you with child custody cases. Call (800) 822-5170 today.

10 Best Award in 2016 by the American Institute of Family Law AttorneysThe attorneys at our Orlando office know how serious a child custody case is to a loving parent. Whether the parties are married and going through a divorce, or have separated and need to establish or determine paternity, our Orlando attorneys can assist you in advocating for you and your child. Many of our attorneys are either divorced parents or have personal experience in dealing with child custody dilemmas.

We know firsthand the challenges of co-parenting, as well as the many emotional trials divorced or separated parents will face when determining what is in the best interest of their children.

How does Florida handle child custody cases?

Unless both parents can mutually agree on how to raise their child(ren) in all aspects of life, Florida will use the “Best Interest of the Child” standard to govern child custody cases. In child custody cases, the court typically determines a proper parenting plan for the parties to follow, and in each plan, a time-sharing schedule is established and parental responsibility is assigned.

In contested child custody cases, the court will conduct a trial to determine how often and under what conditions each parent will spend time with the child(ren). The court will also determine how the parents will handle decision-making in regard to issues involving the children. For example, the court will determine how the child’s healthcare, academics and extra-curricular activities will be addressed by the parents. If the court is required to order a parenting plan, the parties will be required to follow it.

Trial is not always required. Our Orlando attorneys are skilled at negotiating parenting plans outside the courtroom that are not only in the child’s best interest, but also achieve our client’s legal objectives. If you and the other parent are able to reach an agreement, this can be filed with the court without having to go through the grueling trial experience.

Time-Sharing Between the Parents

The Florida Courts have taken a step back from using the term “custody.” Rather than use the term “custody,” the court regulates a parent’s “time-sharing” with the child(ren). The court can use several different schedules to effectuate a time-sharing schedule that is in the best interest of the child. However, in most cases the court will grant one parent with majority time-sharing status. The parent who is determined to have minority time-sharing will be awarded less time than the majority time-sharing parent.

Various factors are evaluated when determining what time-sharing schedule is in the best interest of your child. In some cases where the conduct of one of the parents causes the court to be concerned about the safety of the child(ren), the court may require that parent to only see the child during a supervised visitation. The court may also impose further restrictions, such as drug testing or counseling where the safety and best interests of the child requires it.

Our Orlando attorneys have the necessary skills to evaluate the facts of your case to competently determine a time-sharing schedule that is both pleasing to you, but more importantly, in your child’s best interest.

Parental Responsibility

The decision-making component of a Florida child custody case is known as Parental Responsibility.

The decisions covered by Parental Responsibility generally are:

  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Medical Decisions
  • Academic Decisions
  • Mental Health Decisions

Florida has three forms of parental responsibility that the court may order. The first, and most frequently ordered form of parental responsibility, is Shared Parental Responsibility. Shared Parental Responsibility requires the parents to meet and/or confer with one another regarding all decisions relating to the upbringing of the child. The parents must agree upon all major decisions discussed. If the parents cannot agree, then they must return to court to allow for a judge to ultimately decide the outcome.

The second form of Parental Responsibility is Shared Parental Responsibility with Ultimate Decision-Making Authority. The court will again order that the parents confer with one another to discuss all major issues related to the upbringing of the child(ren), but in the event the parents do not agree, the court will grant one parent the ultimate authority to make the decision.

The third form of Parental Responsibility is Sole Parental Responsibility. This is only ordered in rare cases where having both parents involved in the decision-making would be detrimental to the best interest of the child.

Our Orlando child custody lawyers are committed to your case and the best interests of your child. We are willing to take your case to trial to protect your rights as a parent, as well as advocate for your child’s well-being.

Our attorneys are committed to aggressively representing all of your child custody needs. Call our office today to schedule your consultation.

What Our Clients Say

  • “Gerard is smarter than 95% of people I know, including lawyers. ”

    Adam Ellis, Litigation Lawyer

  • “Mr. Virga not only accepted me as a client, but he took my case to heart.”

    A Litigation Client

  • “Gerard is a brilliant attorney and he's the one you want on your side! ”

    Rusty Shepard, Criminal Defense Attorney

  • “The clients I refer to Mr. Virga are always satisfied with and complimentary of his services.”

    Joseph Turner, Criminal Defense Attorney

  • “It was a blessing for me to have Gerard on my side during the divorce!”

    Visi, A Divorce Client

  • “Mr. Virga treated me with professionalism and fought my case well!”

    A Divorce Client

  • Best of Bay
  • The National Advocates
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  • Lawyers of Distinction 2018
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Avvo Rating 10.0 Superb
  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Lawyers
  • 10 Best by American Institute of Family Law Attorneys | 2016