Defending Your Peace of Mind Child Custody

Panama City Child Custody Lawyer 

Need Custody In Panama City? Call (800) 822-5170!

As a trusted law firm, we are deeply aware of what is on the line for our clients in their family law matter or divorce. With more than 100 years of combined legal insight to pour into each case, our Panama City child custody attorneys are committed to helping our clients strengthen their bond with their children. Our team at The Virga Law Firm, P.A. are prepared to passionately assert your rights.

We draw from our experiences as parents and from our love for our children in every child custody case we handle. Turn to our child custody attorneys in Panama City for the legal advocacy you need.

What separates The Virga Law Firm, P.A. from the rest?

  • Inclusion in the prestigious The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Hundreds of families represented with proven results
  • Over 100 Years of combined legal experience, including litigation experience

As unsettling as it can be to face a complicated legal system, our firm has the proven and trusted ability to help you navigate Florida law with you and your family's rights intact. When you hire our firm, you can gain a whole team of skilled representatives on your side. Do not hesitate to start reviewing the legal possibilities in your child custody case. We are available 24/7 to provide counsel and legal support to our clients.

Schedule your consultation today! Call us at (800) 822-5170.

What is Child Custody?

In Florida, child custody refers to the legal arrangement for the care, upbringing, and decision-making authority regarding a child. It's usually part of a divorce or separation proceeding, but it can also be determined in cases where parents were never married.

There are two primary types of child custody in Florida:

  • Legal Custody: This pertains to the right of a parent to make decisions regarding the child's upbringing, including education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Legal custody can be either joint or sole.

    • Joint Legal Custody: Both parents share the responsibility for making major decisions about the child's welfare. Even if one parent has physical custody (meaning the child primarily lives with them), both parents have equal rights to participate in making important decisions.
    • Sole Legal Custody: One parent has the exclusive authority to make major decisions concerning the child's welfare without needing to consult the other parent.
  • Physical Custody: This refers to where the child resides on a day-to-day basis. It can also be joint or sole.

    • Joint Physical Custody: The child spends significant time living with both parents. This doesn't necessarily mean an equal 50/50 split of time, but rather a substantial and meaningful amount of time with each parent.
    • Sole Physical Custody: The child primarily resides with one parent, and the other parent usually has visitation rights or scheduled time with the child.

What is Time-Sharing?

In Florida, visitation, also commonly referred to as "time-sharing," refers to the scheduled periods of time that a non-custodial parent spends with their child when the child primarily resides with the other parent.

Here are some key points about visitation (time-sharing) in Florida:

  • Visitation Schedule: The visitation schedule outlines specific days and times when the non-custodial parent will have the child in their care. This schedule can be detailed in a parenting plan or custody agreement, or it can be determined by the court if the parents cannot agree.
  • Flexibility: Florida encourages parents to be flexible and cooperative when creating visitation schedules that meet the child's best interests. This may involve considering the child's school schedule, extracurricular activities, holidays, and special occasions.
  • Supervised Visitation: In cases where there are concerns about the safety or well-being of the child, the court may order supervised visitation. This means that visits with the non-custodial parent must occur in the presence of a neutral third party who ensures the child's safety.
  • Modification: Visitation schedules can be modified if there are significant changes in circumstances, such as a parent relocating or changes in the child's needs. Either parent can petition the court for a modification of the visitation schedule if necessary.
  • Enforcement: If one parent fails to comply with the visitation schedule, the other parent can seek enforcement through the court. Florida courts take violations of visitation orders seriously and may impose penalties on parents who repeatedly disregard the visitation schedule without a valid reason.

Determining The Child's Best Interests

As in every state across the country, Florida law says that the deciding factor in a child custody arrangement is the best interest of the child. Ideally, you and the other parent can create your own parenting plan in mediation or a mutually agreed-upon settlement.

As an example, with the guidance of your attorneys, you can set up a legally sound plan that details: who handles which parental tasks, whose address is used in the child's school registration, how you will communicate with your child, etc. However, if you cannot agree on the essential terms of the parenting plan, a court may have to determine the child custody arrangement.

When deciding child custody, Florida courts will consider:

  • The child's health and safety (Is there a history of abuse or neglect?)
  • The child's educational and emotional needs (How involved has each parent been in the child's daily life, school activities, etc.? What is the child's custody preference?)
  • Your ability to co-parent (How well can you and the other parent communicate to one another about your children? Does one parent badmouth the other in front of the kids?)
  • Each parent's character (Did adultery break up the marriage? Is there a history of alcohol or drug abuse? In other words, can a parent's lifestyle harm the child?)

Even though a family court judge will seek to ensure your child's best interests, a court has precious little time to truly understand your child's needs. This is why it is crucial to work with a custody law firm that will take the time to get to know you and your family, thus presenting to the court an accurate, compelling case to safeguard your rights to custody of your child or children.

Whether you are facing a court-decided custody process or are pursuing an uncontested child custody arrangement, do not hesitate to call our firm. We offer 24/7 availability to our clients because we know what is at risk in your custody case. Set up your initial review to see how a dedication to personalized service can help you.

A Proven Approach To Securing Positive Results

Our goal is to be defined by one-on-one service with our clients, excelling through a team approach.

  • A personalized approach: If you want the court to view you as more than a case number, your attorney will have to do so first. Every client has access to us at all times and we make it a point to get to know each client as an individual. We also prioritize becoming well-acquainted with their unique family situation. Not only does this personal involvement fuel our advocacy, but it provides us with the information to craft a vigorous defense of your rights.
  • A team approach: At The Virga Law Firm, P.A., not only does our firm offer over 100 years of combined legal experience, but we often utilize the collective skill of specialists to bolster a client's legal case.

Call (800) 822-5170 For Dedicated Legal Support

Looking for compassionate and insightful advocacy? Look no further than The Virga Law Firm, P.A. No matter how complicated your child custody case may be, our firm has the knowledge, the zeal, and the legal resources you deserve on your side. We understand how vital your relationship with your child is, and we are ready to tirelessly represent you to ensure your child's well-being and your rights are protected.

Do not hesitate to assert your parental rights - set up your initial consultation! Find a Panama City child custody lawyer who is available for you 24/7.

  • “I will definitely be recommending to anyone I know that needs a child custody or divorce attorney!” - A Divorce Client
  • “If you are looking for an attorney who is professional, honest, knowledgeable and responsive to your needs, Gerard Virga meets such requirements.” - A Divorce Client
  • “He responded to my messages promptly and I never felt rushed when speaking with him in meetings and phone conversations.” - A Divorce Client
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Our Firm Gets Results

More Reasons to Hire Us:
  • Committed to Aggressive Representation
  • Same-Day Scheduling Available
  • 6 Locations Throughout Florida
  • Over 100 Years of Collective Experience