Supportive Counsel You Can Rely On

Experienced Pensacola Child Custody Attorneys

The Virga Law Firm, P.A. Family Law - Call (800) 822-5170

Winner of 10 Best Award in 2016Our Pensacola child custody attorneys knows the impact a child custody case has on a loving parent. Whether the parties are married and going through a divorce, or have separated and need to establish or determine paternity, our Pensacola attorneys can assist you in advocating for you and your child. Many of our attorneys have first-hand experience with child custody. Not only do many of us have firsthand knowledge of the challenges that come with co-parenting, but we are also well acquainted with the emotional trials divorced or separated parents will face when determining what is in the best interest of their children.

Why Choose The Virga Law Firm, P.A.?

  • In The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 List
  • Hundreds of Families Represented with Proven Results
  • Over 80 Years of Combined Experience - including in Litigation
  • 24/7 Availability and Same- Day Appointments

How Do Pensacola Courts Handle Child Custody Cases?

Pensacola courts will use the “Best Interest of the Child” standard to govern child custody cases.

In using the “Best Interest of the Child” standard, the Pensacola courts will establish a parenting plan that addresses a proper time-sharing schedule for the parents, as well as assign parental responsibility for the child.

If the child custody case is contested, the court will conduct a trial to determine the time-sharing schedule that is in the best interest of the child. Simply put, the court will determine how often and under what conditions you will be able to spend time with your child. The Court will also decide how you will handle decision-making matters in regard to issues involving your child. For example, the court will determine how you and the other parent will manage your child’s healthcare, academics, and extra-curricular activities. If the court is required to order a parenting plan, you and the other parent will be required to follow it.

What should you do if you feel that a ruling in a custody battle was unjustified? Read our blog, "Modifying a Child Custody Order" for more information.

Trial is not always required to finalize a child custody case. Our Pensacola attorneys are skilled at negotiating a parenting plan that would not only be in your child’s best interest, but that will also achieve your legal litigation goal. If you and the other parent are able to reach an agreement, your Pensacola attorney can draft the agreement and file it with the court without you ever having to step foot in a courtroom. Let us help you avoid the grueling trial experience, contact us today!

Time Sharing Between the Parents

The Florida Courts prefer not to use the term “custody.” Rather than custody, the Pensacola family court will provide you with a “time-sharing” schedule. The court can use several different schedules to effectuate time-sharing that is in your child’s best interest. However, in most cases the court will grant one parent with majority time-sharing status, and the other with minority time-sharing status.

Various factors are evaluated when determining what time-sharing schedule is in your child’s best interest. If safety is a concern for the court, they may require supervised visitation. The court may also impose further restrictions, such as drug testing or counseling, if the court determines these requirements would be in your child’s best interest.

Our Pensacola attorneys have the experience to gauge the facts of your case to advise on a time-sharing schedule that will most likely be awarded by the court. Our goal is to assist you with achieving 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 following are generally the decisions governed by Parental Responsibility:

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

The Pensacola court offers three forms of parental responsibility: Shared Responsibility is the first and most frequently ordered form of parental responsibility. If this is ordered, the court will require you and the other parent to meet and/or confer with one another regarding all decisions relating to the upbringing of your child. You both must agree upon all major decisions discussed. If you and the other parent cannot agree, then you must return to court to allow for a judge to ultimate decide the outcome.

The second form of Parental Responsibility is Shared Parental Responsibility with Ultimate Decision-Making Authority. The court will once again order both parties to confer with each other on all major issues related to the upbringing of the child. In the event you cannot agree the court will grant one party the ultimate authority to make decisions for the child.

Finally, the third form of Parental Responsibility is Sole Parental Responsibility. This is ordered in rare cases. If the court determines that it would be a detriment to the child for both parents to be involved in the decision regarding the upbringing of the child, then the court will order sole parental responsibility to one of the parents.

Our Pensacola child custody attorneys are committed to achieving your child custody litigation goals. We will protect your rights as a parent, but also advocate for your child’s best interest. Call our office today to schedule your consultation.