Child Custody Lawyers in Gainesville, FL

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Child Custody

Child custody issues are often the most hotly contested aspects of a divorce. Your child’s welfare and future are of the utmost importance and the laws concerning parenting during and after a divorce were written with your child’s best interests in mind. When the court makes a determination regarding custody and parental responsibility, it considers many factors, such as:

  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required

  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent

  • The moral fitness of the parents

  • The mental and physical health of the parents

  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child

  • Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect

(Florida Statute §61.13)In 2008, the Florida Legislature eliminated the term “custody” from Florida law, leaving the term “parental responsibility,” and adding the term “time-sharing,” in its place. Also removed were the terms “custodial parent,” “non-custodial parent,” “primary residential parent,” and “visitation.” Removing these terms, and adding new terms such as “time-sharing” and “parenting plan,” are more neutral and promote less conflict between parents.

Parental Responsibility

May be shared between the parents or given to one parent in certain circumstances, and involves making the day-to-day decisions regarding the care and upbringing of your child.


The way you and your former spouse will split spending time with your child and is governed by a detailed time-sharing schedule.

Parenting Plans

If you are going through a divorce and there are minor children of your marriage, or if you are involved in a paternity suit, you will be required to submit your proposed parenting plan to the Court. Parenting plans govern parental responsibility for your children, a time-sharing schedule, and other matters such as your children’s education, extracurricular activities, and communication with each parent. Parenting plans may be agreed upon by you and your spouse and then ratified by the court, or the court will establish the parenting plan for you if you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement.

The Law Office of Knellinger & Associates has the experience you need to assist you with your complex child custody issues. If you are initiating or currently going through a dissolution of marriage or paternity action, or if you already have a court order determining custody and need to seek a modification of that order, our family law attorneys can help. With a true understanding of your family’s needs and your children’s best interests in mind, we will work with you to negotiate a parenting plan that is best for everyone. If an agreement cannot be reached, we will protect your rights and the best interests of your children in court.

Our family law attorneys handle cases with custody issues such as:

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The Law Office of Knellinger & Associates provides legal advice and representation for individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners in Gainesville, Florida, and communities throughout north central Florida, including cities such as Ocala, Starke, Palatka, Lake City, Middleburg, Trenton, Bronson, Lake Butler, Cross City, Williston, Chiefland, Alachua, Jasper, Live Oak, and Jacksonville, Florida.

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