Parental Rights


Polk County Florida Family Law Firm providing Parental Rights Attorney - Lawyer Legal Services in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, and the surrounding Central Florida area.


What is Parental Rights?

Parental rights deals with the legal rights that a biological mother and father have regarding their minor children. These rights do not only apply to a divorce. Parental rights law also deals with minor children that have been taken away from their parents by the state, parents who have children in the foster care system, and in the case of certain adoptions. For the purposes of this page we will discuss parental rights between biological parents of a minor child who are no longer involved in a relationship together.

Both the biological mother and father have parental rights under the law. These rights may cover various legal issues such as:

  • Child Custody - Parenting Plan;

  • Visitation -Timesharing;

  • Child Support and Child Support Enforcement;

  • Child Support adherence, as it pertains to if the child support that is being paid is being used for the child's well being and needs;

  • Minor Child Relocation due to a geographic move by the parent who minor children resides with;

  • or other minor child related issues.

In the case of divorce, the number of biological father's seeking and being granted as the primary residential parent as steadily increased over the years.

What the Court Generally Considers in Parental Rights Cases?

First and foremost, while it used to seem like in a divorce the mother would automatically be granted custody of the minor children, the courts have put a greater emphasis on what is in the best interest of the child or children.

The same goes for instances of parental rights hearings regarding children who the state is removing a child or children from the home of the parents, or parents who are seeking regain legal custody of their children from the state, foster care system, or in certain adoption cases. What is in the best interest of the child is the number one factor to be considered.

Parental rights also deal with adherence and enforcement of standing court orders. Failure to adhere to the standing court orders in minor child related issues could result in a court order revision as to which parent the minor child will reside with, temporary or permanent parental rights of the offending parent, and in some cases criminal charges against the offending parent.

What is your Parental Rights Attorney's Role in your Case?

Based on if a parental rights attorney is representing the parent that the minor child (or children) currently resides with or not representation may differ for various parental rights issues.

For the parent that the minor child primarily resides with in addition to adherence issues to standing court orders relating to children, enforcement issues may also have to be legally addressed. These issues may include child support enforcement, child support modifications, parenting plan (custody) modification issues, violations of court orders relating to child visitation, geographic relocation of a minor child, or even parental kidnapping.

For the non-residential primary parent all of the above mentioned issues may apply, but typically must have his or her parental rights protected in the exact opposite side of the coin. Regarding child support, if the financial situation has dramatically changed and was previously unforeseen at the time that the standing court order went into effect, a modification of the child support order may need to be addressed. If in the event the parent ordered to pay child support falls behind it is not uncommon for the primary residential parent to threaten to not allow visitation. Under Florida law, even though the parent ordered to pay child support falls behind, it is unlawful to withhold visitation rights without the courts permission. The non-residential parent also has rights regarding if the minor child may relocated due to a geographic move by the primary residential parent.

It is important to note that both parents have rights, both parents have a responsibility to adhere to all standing court orders, have a right to have the standing court order enforced, and also have a right to seek modifications to standing court orders if sufficient justification to do so exists.

For more information regarding parental rights in the State of Florida, contact our office by calling 863.937.9100.

Each parental rights attorney, lawyer, and staff member in our law firm are ready to assist you in even the most difficult of legal challenges you may be facing. We will aggressively represent your legal needs, interests, and goals regarding your parental rights issues, as well as other divorce and family law related legal issues.

If you must address parental rights issues in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, or the surrounding Central Florida area, speak to an experienced parental rights attorney - lawyer at Carroll Law Group, P.L. today by calling 863.937.9100.


Parental Rights Attorney - Lawyer Legal Services in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, and the surrounding Central Florida area.