Child Custody Lawyer in Fort Myers

Experienced, Trusted Child Custody / Visitation Attorney

in Fort Myers, Florida

The family is the basic unit in society, it should always be cherished and protected. However, due to reasons beyond our comprehension, married couples at times have reasons to get a divorce. In that essence, divorce is foreseeable and unavoidable.

When a divorce takes place, the family unit dissolves and becomes something very different for the children.

A well thought out parenting time structure can alleviate the feeling of separation for the child from the family unit they have known.

There is nothing more precious to a parent than time with their children.  Because of this, the ability to come up with a mutual agreed upon schedule between the parents would be difficult at times.  As a result, the civil case for child custody is thereafter filed for the determination and assistance of the court.

The State of Florida implements the shared parental responsibility unless both parents are not able to agree to undertake the major decision makings for the benefit of the children, the court thereafter decides which parent is better fit. But the initial court’s decision generally recommends the participation of both parents in order to provide the utmost advantage to the child’s upbringing and life.

Under the law, the State of Florida always ensures the best interest of the child and the court upholds the law that carries out the decision to require both parents to provide financial support for their children. The law does not mandate the presumption rule for 50/50 custody but if the father establishes legal paternity, the father may be awarded the shared parental responsibility and with the 50/50 time-sharing.

Nonetheless, this is not always the case at hand. Accordingly, Florida Statute 751.05 states that in order for a parent to be found unfit for the custody of the child, a parent or both must have inflicted abuse, neglect, and abandonment. In addition, a parent or parents may likewise be deemed unfit if recent or long-standing history of drug abuse or mental illness.

A supplemental Petition may be carried out by the aggrieved party after the promulgation of the court granting the child custody to request a modification to the final judgment or order in favor of the petitioner.

On the other hand, be it noted, however, that Florida strictly observes the role of the mother to be the natural guardian of a child born out of wedlock. Even if the father acknowledges the child, the unwed mother has still the legal custody of the child automatically.

It is also noted worthy to consider that Florida law on child’s custody recognizes:

  1. Sole Custody – one parent gets hold of the legal and physical custody of a child;

  2. Joint Custody – both parents share the legal and physical child custody and this is also popularly known as the shared parental responsibility and both of them have the right to approve all the decisions pertaining to the child.

In any case, the child does not have the automatic privilege or right to choose which parent to live with until the child reaches the age of majority, that is, 18 years old. As the child gets older, his opinion may have greater weight with the court but still, the latter still has the discretion for the best interest of the child.

In summary, child support is not solely dependent based on which parent has the child the most. That being said, the court would still mandate both parents to provide the required financial support every month for the benefit and advantage of the child.

A child joint custody, on the other hand, does not dissolve the child support responsibility and obligation of the parents. However, the parent with a higher income will certainly be required to provide higher child support.

If you are in Fort Myers, Florida  and surrounding cities, and need an experienced, child custody attorney, it is strongly advised to take advantage of the professional legal services of Marquez-Kelly Family Law Attorney. Our Team is ready to answer your questions and represent your child’s best interests.

For a child custody lawyerchild custodyFort Myers child custody lawyerCape Coral child custody lawyer, and Cape Coral family law and Fort Myers family law, you may visit our official website to learn more at

We offer an initial 30-minute free consultation to address your concerns, you may contact us through telephone number 239-214-0403 or you may email us via our webpage at

We are available in Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, Sanibel Island.

What they say about us

Before I retained Mellany,  I was getting nowhere with my first lawyer.  My kids were being kept from me,  and every time I went to court,  I would lose.  After I retained Mellany,  we immediately got started on the things I needed to do. When it was over,  I received full custody of my 8 year old and 1 year old. I went from having my kids kept from me to be a father with full custody. Mellany has a great,  confident presence in the courtroom.  She made me not feel nervous and made me feel confident that she would get the judge to see the truth,  and she did. I would definitely recommend Mellany Marquez-Kelly.

Tony S

Get in touch with us!

Association of Family Law Practitioners in Lee County
University of Central Florida
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
United States District Court Middle District of Florida

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