Tampa, Florida

Child Custody

Child Custody Lawyer in Tampa

One of the most emotional and contentious issues in a divorce can be child custody. The children’s welfare is the most important part of any divorce, and we only want the best for your children. At Givens Givens Sparks, we are fully dedicated to helping parents navigate the transition from married life to single life. We understand that your children’s well-being is very important to you. We will stand by you throughout your divorce proceedings to help give you peace of mind that your children will be cared for in the manner that you feel is appropriate.

Since October 1, 2008, Florida courts have followed a revised statute in determining issues regarding minor children in dissolution of marriage cases. This statute prescribes that all cases with minor children have a parenting plan. At a minimum, a parenting plan will be required to describe:

  • The parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child
  • The time-sharing schedule arrangements specifies the time the child will spend with each parent
  • A designation of which parent will be responsible for any and all forms of health care, school-related matters, other activities
  • The methods and technologies for communication with the child.

If you have questions or concerns about your custody situation, please contact one of our Tampa custody attorneys today.

Need help from a Tampa Custody Attorney?

Parents are expected to consider the best interests of their child when developing a parenting plan. The court looks primarily at how well the parenting plans address the child’s needs, while comparing it to the parents’ wishes. Florida’s statutes states,

For purposes of establishing or modifying parental responsibility and creating, developing, approving, or modifying a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, which governs each parent's relationship with his or her minor child and the relationship between each parent with regard to his or her minor child, the best interest of the child shall be the primary consideration. Determination of the best interests of the child shall be made by evaluating all of the factors affecting the welfare and interests of the minor child.

When a court makes a decision about custody, the court will look at many varying factors of your family’s life, such as:

  • The best interests of the child
  • Capacity of each parent to continue a close parent-child relationship and honor the arrangement
  • Capacity of each parent to act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs of the parent
  • Reasonable preference of the child (for older children only)
  • Mental and physical health of both parents
  • Moral fitness of both parents
  • Developmental stages of the child and the ability of each parent to meet those needs
  • Ability of both parents to maintain a substance abuse-free environment for the child

At Givens Givens Sparks, our child custody attorneys can help you traverse the complicated arena of divorce. If you are confused about how to approach the custodial aspect of your divorce, you need to speak with a qualified professional who is familiar with Florida family law and child custody laws. Our firm has over 135 years of collective experience. We work hard to ensure our clients are satisfied and receive the outcome they desire.


Contact a Tampa child custody lawyer at Givens Givens Sparks to schedule your consultation today.

Case Results

  • Family Law Case - Child Custody

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which a child was nearly removed from her mother’s custody and given to the child’s alleged father, although the father had not yet established paternity. Candela filed a written response on behalf of her client (the mother) alleging fraud by the father and had the pick-up order set aside before custody was transferred to the father. The practical result was to allow the mother and child stay in their home state (not Florida) pending the resolution of the case. The Court agreed and granted Candela’s client custody.

  • Family Law Case - Child Custody

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which her client filed a Petition to Establish Paternity, and the mother was served. After being served, the mother fled the state with the child. Candela filed an Emergency Motion for the immediate return of the child, and at that hearing, which was granted on an emergency basis, the mother was forced to turn the child over to the father, giving the father sole custody of the child pending the ultimate resolution of the case.

  • Family Law Case - Relocation

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which her client (the father) accused his child’s mother of relocating the child out of state without the consent of the child’s father. Candela was able to obtain a court order to return the child to the state of Florida and to remain in her client’s care while establishing permanent custody and timesharing plans. After Candela’s successful litigation of the case, the Court ruled that the mother’s Petition for Relocation was denied, and that the child shall live primarily with Candela’s client in Florida, with summer and school break schedules allotted to the mother.

  • Family Law Case - Timesharing Violation

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which her client was accused of violating a timesharing schedule agreed upon by both parental parties at the time the couple was divorced. The client’s child’s mother claimed that Candela’s client did not return the child for holiday timesharing at both Christmas and Easter. Candela had sent formal correspondence to the child’s mother regarding the dispute over the interpretation of the timesharing schedule, and when she did not agree, the father kept the child. The Court agreed with Candela’s interpretation of the timesharing schedule and found that her client was not in contempt for either holiday.

  • Family Law Case - Unilateral Medical-Related Decisions

    Givens Givens Sparks trial attorney, Kelly Candela, successfully litigated a family law case in which she filed a Motion for Contempt on behalf of her client against the mother of his child for making unilateral medical-related decisions for the minor child without his knowledge. The Court agreed that the mother was in violation of the final judgment of their dissolution of marriage and held her in indirect civil contempt. The Court also ordered that the treatment in question cease immediately and that the mother be solely responsible for any and all costs related to that treatment. Furthermore, the Court ordered that the mother was not to make any unilateral decisions in the future and was to notify the father of any future appointments so that he could be present either over the phone or in person.

Client Testimonials

  • "I feel exceptionally fortunate having been referred to you."

  • "Rob has proven his extraordinary talent, perseverance, vast knowledge of the law, along with his professional demeanor and his ability to communicate and listen well."

  • "Your expertise, knowledge and professionalism put me at ease while you handled my out of state matters."

  • "I will be forever grateful for your assistance, understanding & concern on my divorce."

  • "Know anyone with the same amount of class, ethics and thoughtfulness and ability to execute as you?"

  • "The times we have with our granddaughter are a constant reminder of Rob’s highly effective work."

  • "Going through a divorce is a very traumatic event, but you all make your clients feel cared for and the trust factor is definitely felt."

  • "I would recommend them 200% to anyone who has to go through a divorce."

  • "I truly appreciate your brilliant legal minds and your professional protection of my desires and interests as pertaining to my home."

  • "If I ever have a friend who's going through a divorce, you will be the only name for me to recommend."

  • "Mr. Givens assured me that he was placing my needs in very good hands. He was correct because we are in a much better place because of your efforts."

  • "Stann is an intellectually gifted, highly motivated, knowledgeable attorney. He was truly a 'master negotiator.'"

  • "Rob, Thank you for your assistance and guidance throughout my divorce process. I will certainly recommend you to others seeking legal support."

  • "I appreciate you both always taking the time to answer all of my questions"

  • "Your joint efforts and hard work have finally brought a son and father together."

  • "Your guidance and wisdom has truly guided me through this difficult process that I can now put behind me."

  • "His research, preparation and professionalism is noteworthy in every aspect."

  • "Rob, I wanted to say THANK YOU for all of the time, effort and hard work you put into my case! Without your assistance, Madison would not be here with us in South Florida."

  • "Your guidance and wisdom has truly guided me through this difficult process that I can now put behind me. "

  • "His research, preparation and professionalism is noteworthy in every aspect. You have a brilliant attorney on your team."

  • Paula, thank you so much! You have been a true pleasure to work with through this difficult process. I really appreciate it.

  • "Rob, Thanks again for all of your help through this process. You and Paula have both been great."

  • "Ellen, this comes with sincere gratitude for a job well done. You have restored my faith in your profession. Thank you for always acting in my best interest."

  • "Ellen, I could not have been more fortunate in my legal representation!"

  • "I am very happy that I selected your firm and would not hesitate to give my highest recommendation."

  • "Rob, I wanted to say thank you for all your efforts in getting this agreement settled."

  • You have been wonderfully amazing. Thank you for everything. So grateful.

Get In Touch

At Givens Givens Sparks, your family is our family. As such, we promise to fight for each client and voraciously protect their best interests. Facing a family law issue? Get in touch with us to learn how we can help!

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