St. Petersburg & Pinellas Park Child Custody Lawyers

Fight for your parental rights. Call 727-317-4738 to schedule a consultation today!

If you find yourself in a situation where you are battling with the assistant state attorney or assistant attorney general to keep your child(ren), don’t panic. Our dependency lawyers help parents like you every day, working with the legal system as an advocate for your parental rights.

We understand the importance of parent/child relationships, being able to spend time together, and having an influence on how your child is being raised. We have the expertise and experience you need regarding Florida child dependency laws. You shouldn’t have to fight this battle alone. We can help.

Contact us today so that we can discuss a strategy so that you can get your child(ren) back in your custody and/or keep your child(ren) with you.

What to Expect With Child Dependency Cases in Florida

Whether you are going through a divorce or other family issues that involve child dependency laws in Florida, having a family law attorney is vital when dealing with the complexities of the legal system.

The Arraignment

Once you are served with a petition for dependency, the next step will be an arraignment. At the arraignment, you will have the option to contest the allegations in the petition as to why your child should be adjudicated dependent. You will also have the option to consent to cooperate with completing a case plan. A family law attorney in Florida has experience in authoritatively speaking up for parental rights at arraignments. This can make a big difference in the outcome.

The Case Plan

A case plan will comprise of a list of services that you would have to contact and cooperate to complete. It is important that you retain a child dependency attorney in St. Petersburg, FL, to fight on your behalf regarding the case plan.

If you elect to complete the case plan at arraignment, then you must ensure that you are accepting the tasks that are applicable to your situation. Sometimes, the assistant state attorney or the assistant attorney general may require you to complete tasks to remedy issues that you simply are not facing. This can cause unnecessary, additional stress and complications in an already difficult and complex parental rights case.

If you retain our services, we will ensure that all of your case plan tasks are applicable to your current situation and aggressively contest tasks that have no relation to your case. With a family law attorney in St. Petersburg on your side, you can have the confidence you need when working with a case plan.

Another issue that we’ve encountered when meeting with prospective clients is the way that the court deals with the level of case plan compliance. We’ve met with clients who were in complete despair prior to retaining our services due to their efforts to comply with the case plan being overlooked or not recognized by the court. Your actions in trying to keep or get back parental rights matter and should be recognized.

Our clients have also dealt with the struggles of not obtaining the proper referrals to the necessary agencies to complete their case plan. If you retain the services of our child dependency lawyers in Florida, we will ensure that the court has the proper documentation needed to assess whether you have substantially complied with your case plan.

Substantial compliance with all case plan tasks must be achieved prior to obtaining reunification and the court terminating supervision. We will make sure that you have a voice in the courtroom and that your concerns are being addressed. We will fight so that your efforts to be in compliance with the case plan is being properly documented.

Contact us today at 727-317-4738 to set up a consultation with a family law attorney to discuss your parental rights in Florida.

Factors Involved in Determining Child Dependency in Florida

Throughout the process of going through arraignments and case plans, it is crucial to understand the overall factors involved in determining child dependency in Florida. This will help you know what to expect and what the courts are considering when deciding what is in the best interests of the child(ren). Florida operates on a concurrent plan system, meaning that the State attorneys prepare for reunification between the parent(s) and the child and to terminate the parental rights at the same time, with their ultimate goal being that the child ends up in a permanent, safe, and loving home as quickly as possible. In order to achieve reunification rather than the termination of your parental rights, you must take the following steps:

  • Demonstrate compliance or attempted compliance with your case plan starting no later than one (1) year after the child is taken from your custody;
  •  Remain in contact with all the parties involved in your case plan, like the guardian ad litem, and keep them up to date with your compliance with the case plan;
  • Notify the Court of any barriers to completing any steps of your case plan; and
  • Substantially comply with all the requirements of the case plan.

Having a dedicated attorney familiar with the requirements of Florida’s child dependency laws can assist you in making sure you follow all the steps to be reunified with your child.

Take Action for Your Parental Rights: Contact a Child Dependency Lawyer Today

Golden Key Law Group, PLLC is passionate about fighting for parental rights. Our child dependency lawyers work aggressively to advocate for our clients and have the experience and skill to work with Florida child custody laws that you need.

We are with you each step of the way.

We also help with legal needs if you are going through a divorce, determining child support, or fighting for guardianship.

Contact us today to set up a confidential consultation to discuss your case. Our attorneys have represented hundreds of clients with family law actions throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough County. We are dedicated, diligent, and determined to ensure your voice is heard.


How Much Does a Child Custody Lawyer Cost in St. Petersburg, FL?

The cost of a child custody lawyer will vary depending on the case. One of the biggest factors that will determine the cost is whether your case is contested or uncontested. A contested case is more complex because the custody is being challenged or disputed and can involve a full-court trial with depositions, time in court, and potential specialists and expert witnesses.

Other factors that can influence the cost for a child custody lawyer include:

  • the amount and length of mediation needed;
  • an evaluation by a child psychologist;
  • the necessity of a Guardian Ad Litem
  • court legal fees, and
  • miscellaneous costs, such as needing a sheriff or a third party to serve the necessary paperwork.

How Do You Win a Child Custody Case in Florida?

There are multiple elements involved in winning a child custody case in Florida. The court is focused on what is in the child’s best interests and looks at many factors when deciding on child custody. The guidelines the court examines include:

Stability: if a parent can meet the child’s needs and provide a stable home; the need for stability and the length of time a child has lived in a stable home

Health: the physical and mental health of both parents and the child

Love & Relationships: the depth of affection and love the child has with each parent; the ability and willingness of each parent to continue a loving and open relationship with the child and the other parent; the quality of the relationships between the child and all other family members

Material Needs: the material needs of the child

Adaptability: the ability of the child to adjust to their environment, including community, school, and home

Qualities of Parents: the sense of responsibility and the character that each parent possesses

Child’s Preference: if the child is of an adequate age to inform the court of what they want, the child’s preference of what parent they want to primarily live with

The court will also take into consideration if there has been any domestic violence in the family before the child custody case.

Should I Hire an Attorney for Child Custody?

With the high stakes of child custody cases, it is recommended to hire an attorney. Family law is complex. The court determines which parent will be the custodial parent and other issues in child custody cases, such as child support, parenting plans, and visitation.

When you are in a child custody dispute, and the other parent has an attorney – you are at a disadvantage without one. Having a personal legal advocate who understands how to navigate the court system’s intricacies can make a big difference.

A child custody attorney guides you through the challenges of the case, leading you as a legal expert through the discovery process and each step of the way. Your lawyer ensures your voice is heard and your parental rights are advocated for in the child custody case.