Child Custody

Bringing Experience, Attention & Powerful Advocacy to Your Case

Focusing on the Welfare of Your Children

At Andrew M. Smith, P.A. in Boca Raton, Florida, we work with parents to formulate child custody agreements and parenting plans. Our focus is on the best interests and welfare of your children and to craft an agreement that is acceptable to the court and fair to both parents. Contact our Boca Raton office by phone at 561‑961-4665 or by e‑mail through this Web site to speak to our experienced Florida child custody attorney. We offer a low cost initial consultation.

Answering Your Questions and Addressing Your Concerns

Do you have questions and concerns regarding the custody of your minor children, including questions regarding the relationship between child custody and child support? Have you been denied visitation rights? Has your co‑parent refused to abide by your timesharing arrangement? At Andrew M. Smith, P.A., we can answer those all‑important questions.

Factors to Determine Child Custody

In Florida, the primary focus in child custody proceedings is the best interests and welfare of the child. Among the factors a court will consider include:

  • 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 moral character and mental and physical health of each parent
  • Whether there has been child abuse
  • The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child
  • The geographic viability of the parenting plan, with special attention paid to the needs of school‑age children and the amount of time to be spent traveling to effectuate the parenting plan. This factor does not create a presumption for or against relocation of either parent with a child

We will work with you to identify factors relevant to child custody determinations and help you to communicate those factors and your situation to the court.

Avoiding a Child Custody Battle

Attorney Andrew M. Smith, the founder of our firm, knows how destructive a contentious custody battle can be. He hopes parents feel the same way in that they truly don’t want to fight over their children. With that in mind, he helps his clients negotiate child custody arrangements and parenting plans. This approach often saves time, money, and heartache, and makes the children’s best interests paramount.

If it does become necessary to litigate these issues, Attorney Smith is ready to prepare your custody case for trial to the fullest extent, making use of necessary child custody experts, including therapists, child custody evaluators, Guardians Ad Litem, and parenting coordinators.

Contact Us

For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced lawyer regarding child custody disputes, please contact us.

The hiring of a Florida lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice or the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

Can I refuse visitation if my ex-spouse fails to pay child support?
No. You cannot refuse visitation, if it has been ordered by the Court, because your ex-spouse has failed to pay child support. The failure of a party to follow a court order should be brought to the attention of the Court. Therefore, if your ex-spouse violates a court order to pay child support, that issue should be brought to the Court’s attention.
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There has been an order of child support in my case, but my circumstances have changed. Is it possible to have the child support order modified?
The Court will look at a change in circumstances of the parties through a petition to modify support. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the original order, the Court may modify the order, based on those changed circumstances.
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My spouse has always controlled our finances. He/She makes the money and I don’t have access to funds to pay for an attorney. What do I do?
Most attorneys require an initial retainer before they will start working on your case. Many attorneys accept credit cards. Once the case reaches the court system, the Court may require your spouse to pay for your attorney’s fees.
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What is mediation?
Mediation is a process where the two parties get together and attempt to negotiate a settlement between the two, rather than having the judge make the final decision. Mediation can save time, money and misery. A settlement is not required, however, simply because you agree to mediate.
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How is marital property divided in Florida?
As a general rule, in the state of Florida, property acquired during the marriage is split evenly, despite whose name the property is in. With any general rule, there are exceptions. The courts can change the percentage depending on the parties’ specific circumstances.
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What if my spouse is hiding or misrepresenting his assets?
Each party must sign a sworn financial affidavit. If your spouse is hiding or misrepresenting his assets, you may be entitled to compensation relating to those hidden assets.
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