Child Custody Attorneys Serving Tampa & Central FL
The twin issues of child custody and support can become contentious ones in the negotiation of a divorce settlement. Sessums Law Group, P.A. knows how to help parents navigate these disputes. A part of that involves bringing real personal compassion to what is often a very stressful situation. Our Tampa child custody lawyers then go beyond empathy and into our deep knowledge of applicable law and what it takes to secure a fair custody arrangement.
How Child Custody Works
There are two primary facets of child custody—or, parental responsibility, as it is legally known in the state of Florida. Those two facets are physical custody and legal custody:
- Primary physical custody refers to where the child lives.
- Legal custody indicates who has access to information about the child and makes important decisions about the child’s care and upbringing.
Florida recognizes multiple custody arrangements for minor children, including:
- Sole legal and sole physical custody to one parent
- Joint legal custody to both parents and primary physical custody to one parent.
- Joint legal and shared physical custody
Every situation is unique and with its own nuance. In the event a child custody case can’t be resolved in negotiation or mediation and goes to court, the decision will depend on the specifics of each individual case.
Factors Courts Consider in Deciding Child Custody
The court is tasked with determining what is in the best interest of the child. Some factors a court may consider when deciding custody include:
- Which parent is more likely to act in the child’s best interest?
- Which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the other parent?
- The depth, quality, and nature of the relationship between each parent and the child
In most circumstances, the goal is that the parents, with the help of their Tampa child custody attorneys, can work out a parenting plan that contains the scope of each parent’s responsibilities and the terms of their time-sharing. It is when parents are unable to reach an agreement that the question goes before the court.
Sessums Law Group, P.A. has built up a strong record in court, and we’re always prepared to go to litigation when that’s what it takes to protect our clients and their children. We also know that it’s often best for all concerned when an agreement can be reached in a less contentious manner. To that end, we offer collaborative divorce services to facilitate the search for common ground.
How Child Support Is Determined in Florida
Regardless of what sort of parenting plan is reached, both parents have the obligation to financially support their children. This is true even for a non-custodial parent who may not have visitation rights.
When the parents are divorcing, the issuance of a support order will be a standard part of the settlement process. If the parents were never married, the birth mother must go to court and ask a court to order paternity testing. Once a father is conclusively identified, the mother can seek child support.
$6,000,000.00 Recovery Fraud Civil Action
Sessums Law Group, P.A. successfully recovered $6,000,000.00 for a client in a fraud civil action. Prior to the client’s divorce, the client negotiated and executed an agreement with his wife’s boyfriend that sought that the boyfriend would have no contact with the client’s wife.
$2,740,000.00 Wrongful Death Hit/Run of Motorcyclist
Representation of the plaintiff hit from behind on his motorcycle by a driver who was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident. Sued the defendant; the bar that the defendant had been drinking and the defendant’s employer.
$1,929,000.00 Verdict Real Estate Deficiency
Representation of estate in real estate deficiency claim resulting in joint and several liability verdict against various doctors and chiropractors.
$1,000,000.00 Settlement Collision
Representation of estate in an automobile and tractor trailer collision that resulted in multiple deaths.
Confidential Settlement Amount Medical Malpractice
Client was burned with a hot pack after delivering her son via Cesarean section.
Confidential Settlement Amount Nursing Home Negligence
Representation of the Personal Representative of the Estate of the patient who died due to negligent care while in the care of the nursing home.
Confidential Settlement Amount Trolley Accident
Representation of passengers who were enjoying a sight- seeing tour aboard a trolley when the trolley was hit by a bus. The passengers suffered soft tissue injuries.
Confidential Settlement Amount Hit & Run
Sessums Law Group was recently successful in settling a case for a hard working Polk County man whose hit and run accident resulted in a need for a knee replacement. The defendant argued that our client had caused the accident. We were able to prove through expert accident reconstruction testimony that the accident happened as our client testified despite the minimal damage involved.
Confidential Settlement Stolen Property
Client’s vehicle was burglarized and her engagement and wedding rings stolen. The perpetrator pawned the stolen items to a local pawn shop. The pawn shop ignored the hold order from the police department and sold the engagement and wedding rings. After suit filed for the Plaintiff, a confidential settlement was reached with the pawn shop for the value to our client of her stolen rings.
"Our firm believes in the integrity of the needs of the each client we represent. We are passionate about obtaining the maximum results allowable under the law for each client."
- Mark A. Sessums