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Tampa Visitation & Parental Rights Attorneys Advocate for You

Board-certified family lawyer seeks parenting time solutions

In Tampa, a city of about 360,000 people, about 14 percent of the adult population is divorced and another four percent are separated. Many of those adults are parents with children under the age of 18, and, like you, they must deal with conflicts over co-parenting and time-sharing. So, if you are having issues related to visitation, you are certainly not alone. At Sessums Law Group, we regularly help our Tampa clients assert their parental rights. We also provide representation for grandparents who, through no fault of their own, have been cut off from their grandchildren. When it comes to your relationship with your children, you want the finest legal representation available. When you retain our services, you get personal counsel from a board-certified family law attorney who pursues effective remedies capably and aggressively.

What right does a Tampa parent have to visitation?

Florida family law has gotten away from the term “visitation,” which tends to imply the noncustodial parent has a diminished role in the life of the child. Parents who are not in a position to provide a residence for the child can still retain joint legal custody, or “shared decision-making responsibility,” with the other parent. Therefore, you also have the right to:

  • Receive timely information pertinent to your child’s health, education and welfare
  • Interact with your child’s physician(s), teachers, coaches, pastor, and so on
  • Attend your child’s activities
  • Be designated an emergency contact for your child
  • Withhold consent for medical, dental or surgical treatment

You also have the right to frequent, meaningful contact with your child. Whether you are going through a divorce or have never been married to the child’s custodial parent, you have the right to ask the court for a child custody order that upholds your parental rights.

What is termination of parental rights?

Under certain circumstances, a court can terminate a parent’s legal right to have a relationship with the child when that relationship could put the child at risk. That determination would be made during a hearing where evidence of domestic violence, sexual abuse, immoral lifestyle, or substance abuse demonstrates that continued contact with the parent would be detrimental to the child’s health and welfare.   In other cases, a parent may voluntarily relinquish parental rights to allow the child to be adopted. A parent whose rights have been terminated no longer has a responsibility for the child, so orders for child support are also terminated.

What parental rights do unwed fathers have in Florida?

Unwed fathers are responsible for providing support for their children, but they can also sue to have their parental rights honored. A court can grant an unwed father parenting time, including overnights, as well as decision-making authority. However, unlike married fathers who have presumed rights, unwed fathers must take specific legal steps to be recognized as fathers before their rights can be enforced.

What rights to visitation do grandparents have in Florida?

Grandparents have very limited statutory rights to visit with their grandchildren. Under Florida law, grandparents have rights if both parents are deceased, missing, or in a persistent vegetative state, or if those circumstances apply to one parent while the other parent has been convicted of a felony or violent crime or poses a substantial threat to the welfare of the child. When even one parent is present and sound, grandparents have no statutory rights to visitation with their grandchildren if that parent denies them access.

Contact our a board-certified family lawyer in Tampa for your visitation dispute

Sessums Law Group represents parents and grandparents throughout the Tampa Bay area in custody and visitation disputes. We are determined to help you obtain a result that protects your parental rights. Please call 813-435-5058 or contact us online to schedule an appointment at our Tampa office.


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