Child Custody Lawyer Tampa FL

child custody lawyer tampa fl Attorney McKinney smiling with a dog.






Child Custody Lawyer in Tampa FL

If you are going through a child custody battle, you may want to speak to a child custody lawyer Tampa FL trusts, like Damien McKinney. He has 10 years of experience in family law and is ready to assist you. Child custody cases are often very complex and it’s important to know that a trustworthy lawyer is on your side.

How Child Custody Is Determined

The child’s best interest is usually taken into consideration during child custody cases. To determine a child’s best interest, a judge may consider the following factors:

  • Each parent’s relationship with the child
  • Each parent’s ability to support the child
  • The child’s age
  • Each parent’s financial resources
  • Common Mistakes in Child Custody Cases


During a child custody case, you have to be careful about what you say and do. Your actions can have an impact on the judge’s custody decision. Here are common mistakes a child custody lawyer in Tampa FL has seen parents make in custody cases:

  • Taking your child on vacation without other parent’s consent: A child custody lawyer Tampa FL respects may have witnessed parents take their children on vacation before consulting with their ex-spouse. If you take your child on a trip without letting your ex-spouse know, it might be considered kidnapping. To avoid additional complications in your case, be sure to get your ex-spouse’s permission if he/she currently has custody before taking your child out of town.
  • Speaking negatively about your spouse in front of your child: Even if you are angry with your ex-spouse, you should refrain from speaking poorly about him or her in front of your child. If you display hostility toward your ex-spouse, the judge may decide that you are less concerned with the wellbeing of your child and more concerned with “punishing” your ex-spouse by taking away custody/visiting rights.
  • Disobeying court orders: It is crucial to follow court orders during a child custody battle. A child custody lawyer Tampa FL relies on may have seen parents disobey a judge’s orders and subsequently be denied custody.
  • Arriving late to visits: When it is time to visit with your child, remember to be on time. If you know you are going to be late, at least notify your ex-spouse ahead of time. This shows the court that you are responsible and that you value time with your child.
  • Trying to keep ex-spouse away from your child: It is not a wise idea to try to keep your ex-spouse away from your child. Instead, it’s often a good idea to show the judge your willingness to share time with your child. However, if you suspect that there is any form of violence or negligence going on with your ex-spouse, you should have your child custody lawyer Tampa FL counts on file help you file a motion in court.


The Benefits of Hiring a Child Custody Lawyer

Child custody battles can be stressful, so working with a child custody lawyer Tampa FL residents trust may be beneficial. He or she can get your case moving in the right direction. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of hiring a child custody lawyer.

  • Knowledge of the Legal System: Child custody laws are complicated, so it may help to have someone with extensive knowledge of the legal system on your side. A reputable child custody lawyer in Tampa FL has likely dealt with cases similar to yours in the past and knows what it takes to get a favorable outcome. He or she can give you valuable advice and prevent you from making mistakes.
  • Assistance with the Paperwork: Child custody cases involves a lot of paperwork. If you don’t understand certain terminology in the documents, you might make an error that could delay your case or cause it to be denied. If you have a child custody lawyer Tampa FL locals respect by your side, he or she can help you fill out the paperwork accurately.
  • Getting Child Support Payments: If you do not work with a child custody lawyer Tampa FL residents rely on, your spouse’s lawyer may take advantage of you and offer you lower child support payments. A lawyer can ensure that your spouse is accountable for paying his or her fair share of your child’s expenses.
  • Reduced Stress: Going through a divorce and a child custody battle is stressful enough. If you have to do everything yourself, it may only get more overwhelming. If you hire a Tampa child custody lawyer, he or she can take care of the legwork so that you can sit down and relax.
  • Faster Process: It is normal to want to get a child custody battle over with as quickly as possible. That is why it can be important to have an experienced lawyer on your side. He or she has probably handled similar cases and thus knows how to settle child custody cases as quickly as possible.


Questions to Ask a Child Custody Lawyer

Working with the right child custody lawyer Tampa Fl locals depend on can have a positive impact on your case. That is why it is critical to ask the right questions during the initial consultation, including:

  • How many child custody cases have you handled? It is in your best interest to work with a lawyer who has many child custody cases under his or her belt. A lawyer who just graduated from law school might not have the experience you need.
  • What is your current caseload? It may not be a good idea to work with a child custody lawyer Tampa FL offers who has a heavy caseload. He or she might not be able to give your case the attention it needs.
  • What are your fees? Before you hire a child custody lawyer, find out about his or her fees. Does this lawyer charge a flat fee or by the hour?

Do not wait to hire a Tampa child custody lawyer for your child custody case. If you are searching for a child custody lawyer Tampa FL offers, contact The McKinney Law Group.


Negotiating Child Custody Matters Concerning Holiday Times

A Tampa FL child custody lawyer knows that one of the most potentially contentious challenges that co-parents face on a regular basis is the process of navigating holidays. Holidays are often emotional times of year, so it is particularly important that co-parents remain proactive about predictable sources of tension related to holidays, birthdays and other special occasions.

It is often helpful to both clearly address expectations related to the holidays in one’s child custody agreement and to remain flexible when possible as holiday challenges evolve over time. It may be wise to seek modifications of existing orders related to holiday custody if and when a child’s needs significantly change as he or she gets older. But if it is possible to work out basic custody issues in an original agreement and to remain as flexible as is reasonable over time, it may not be necessary to request formal modifications with any kind of frequency.

A child custody lawyer in Tampa FL can assist in any future modifications your order may need.


Who Gets Custody on Each Holiday?

Depending on the nature of your co-parenting relationship, you may not be inclined to be terribly reasonable when negotiating holiday placement of your child. This is understandable. In the wake of a decision to separate or divorce, a Tampa FL child custody lawyer realize that many parents struggle to process how they are supposed to navigate seeing their child on every special occasion to sharing him or her with a former romantic partner who may be making life very difficult. What will likely help you remain reasonable during holiday negotiations is keeping your child’s best interests in mind. While you may understandably struggle with being separated from your child for even one day, it is likely in his or her best interests to benefit from taking part in traditions on both sides of the family.

It may also be helpful to make a list of the holidays, vacations, and special occasions that mean the most to you. You might have an easier time negotiating if, for example, you realize that it may be easier for you to consent to allowing your child to be with your co-parent on Independence Day if you are assured of custody on New Year’s Eve. Or perhaps you can compromise on custody every other year for Thanksgiving if your child is always with you on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Understanding your most important priorities before negotiating can help discussions remain focused.


Flexibility and Inflexibility

Your child and your family will evolve over time. And new holiday priorities will evolve as your family does. As a result, it can be helpful to be flexible with your co-parent’s needs in exchange for flexibility on his or her part.

For example, if you ordinarily have your child over spring break and your co-parent ordinarily takes him or her over winter break, it may benefit you to switch in a given year in exchange for consideration related to a switch you may need to make concerning summer break or your child’s birthday.

Of course, if your co-parent is inflexible or demands your flexibility but is not considerate of your preferences, you may be able to request formal modifications of existing custody orders, provided that these modifications are in your child’s best interests, with the assistance of a child custody lawyer in Tampa FL.


Why You Should Hire a child Custody Lawyer

Divorce that involves children can be contentious when both spouses vie for full custody. Fortunately, you can hire a child custody lawyer in Tampa, FL, to represent the interests of you and your child and protect your parental rights. McKinney Law Group has the experience necessary to help facilitate the child custody process.


Better Understanding of What Custody Entails

A child custody lawyer can help you understand what physical and legal custody involves. For example, you and your spouse may want to have an equal say in matters concerning your child’s education, religion, and health care, and generally, the court favors this arrangement. However, if you think your spouse is incapable of making decisions that benefit your child, a child custody lawyer in Tampa, FL, can help you obtain full legal custody.  

Florida courts may also grant joint physical custody to parents who live close together to allow the child to share living time with both parents. However, when the parents’ homes are too far apart for the child to travel between them, one parent may gain sole physical custody. When this happens, McKinney Law Group can step in to protect the non-custodial parent’s rights.


Effective Legal Strategies

If you and your spouse do not see eye-to-eye on child custody, you may find yourself in a contentious legal battle. A knowledgeable child custody lawyer in Tampa, FL, can predict the strategies your spouse’s lawyer will use to gain an advantage and increase the chances of gaining custody. In addition, a lawyer who understands state custody laws can formulate an argument that can influence the court in your favor.


Child Support Negotiations

There may be various reasons why the court does not grant you or your spouse full custody of your child. In addition, the court may require one spouse to make child support payments to the one with whom the child primarily resides. Whether you are receiving or making child support payments, you will want to calculate them fairly. Regardless of the final living arrangements, there are many gray areas that a child custody lawyer in Tampa, FL, can help resolve. For example, your spouse’s lawyer may argue that you must pay an amount far beyond what it takes to care for your child properly if your spouse gains custody. Alternatively, your spouse’s lawyer may make compelling arguments to minimize the amount you need to sustain a suitable living standard for your child, who may live with you.


Less Stress

Having legal representation to help resolve child custody issues can reduce everyone’s stress levels. When emotions run high, both parents can make decisions that may not benefit their child’s interests. In addition, child custody laws that are challenging to interpret can lead to unintentional complications that a child custody lawyer in Tampa, FL, can avoid. McKinney Law Group knows how to communicate with your spouse’s representative and the court calmly and effectively to allow you to focus on your well-being and that of your child. 

When the dissolution of your marriage raises questions about child custody, McKinney Law Group can provide the answers you need to make decisions that apply to your unique circumstances.


Through a Child’s Eyes: Helping Your Child Through Custody

A divorce is hard enough on both spouses involved, but it is also incredibly difficult for the child. With their world being rocked by the separation of their parents, it is so easy for a child to be overwhelmed with emotions and have many questions. If you are in the midst of a divorce and are dealing with a child custody lawyer in Tampa, FL, there are some things that you should think about from your child’s perspective. 



The unknown, while scary for many adults, can also be scary for a little one who is watching their parents separate. It can be scary for a child to suddenly have to go stay with another parent at another house for weekdays or weekends, and so, if your child is fearful or anxious about all the changes going on, make sure you talk with them and try to ease their minds. Your attorney from Mckinney Law Group may be able to guide you with what to say to ease your child’s fears. 



Divorce can be a very confusing time, both for the spouses and for the children involved. As you plan out visitation schedules, your child might wrestle with confusion during this tough time, and you can help them by simply being there for them and being ready to answer any questions they have in the most appropriate ways. Your child custody lawyer in Tampa, FL, can also meet with your child to help them understand exactly what’s going on.



Leaving one parent to go stay with another is usually very hard for a child, especially when the divorce is recent and they aren’t used to the change. If your child custody lawyer in Tampa, FL, has helped you get primary custody and your child gets separation anxiety during visitations with your ex, you should attempt to comfort them by reminding them that you’ll see them again once the visitation is up. It also might be helpful to have your child go see a licensed counsellor to work through their feelings, but that is something that you would want to talk about with your attorney from Mckinney Law Group. 

Divorce is a messy situation with many difficult and complicated facets to it, and having children involved does not make it any easier. However, if you listen to your child and are there for them through this process, you may be able to help alleviate some of the fear, confusion, and sadness they are dealing with. 

A child custody lawyer Tampa FL residents respect may be beneficial to have when you are going through a child custody battle. At The McKinney Law Group, we understand the serious nature of your child custody matter and want to offer our assistance. Our goal is to find a legal solution that works for your unique situation.  When To Modify Your Child Custody Agreement?

Does Custody Always Get Awarded to One Parent?

It is a common belief that custody is usually given to one parent. However, judges frequently award custody to both parents, as a child custody lawyer in Tampa FL can attest. This is known as joint custody. Here are three types of joint custody:

  • Joint legal custody – Parents both have a say on educational, medical and religious matters that involve the children.
  • Joint physical custody – Children spend a significant amount of time with each parent.
  • Both joint physical custody and legal custody.


What Factors Are Considered When Deciding Who Gets Custody?

Before awarding custody to one or both parents, a judge will consider the child’s best interests. As a child custody lawyer Tampa FL locals trust can confirm, here are a few factors the judges look at before awarding custody to a parent:

  • Each parent’s mental and physical health: If a parent’s mental or physical health is not good, a judge may worry that he or she may not be able to take care of the children properly and award custody to the other parent.
  • Each parent’s financial situation: A child custody lawyer Tampa FL residents rely on has seen judges take every parent’s financial situation into consideration during a child custody battle. A judge wants to make sure a parent has the financial resources to provide shelter, food, clothing and other necessities for a child before awarding custody.
  • The child’s preference: If the child is at least 12, the judge may consider who he or she wants to live with.
  • Each parent’s living situation: As a Tampa child custody lawyer can verify, judges often look into every parent’s living situation during custody battles. For example, the judge may decide to award custody to the parent who continues to live in the family home to provide the child with some type of stability after the divorce.
  • Each parent’s lifestyle: The way a parent lives his or her life is also taken into account during a child custody battle. For instance, if a parent abuses alcohol or is a convicted felon, the judge may be wary about awarding that parent custody.
  • Each parent’s relationship with the child: A child custody lawyer Tampa FL locals depend on has known judges who look at each parent’s relationship with the child prior to the divorce. If a child and parent did not have a very close relationship before, the judge may decide against awarding that parent custody.


Answers to Questions About Custody at the Holidays

If you have questions or concerns about child custody generally or holiday placement specifically, please do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced child custody lawyer Tampa FL clients recommend from The McKinney Law Group. A lawyer will be best able to advise you in regards to your specific questions once he or she learns about your unique circumstances. 

Child Custody Legal Resources:

Child Custody Considerations

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