Child Custody Attorney Summerfield

We Can Assist You in Establishing Child Custody

Summerfield child custody attorney, Christopher A. Doty, has been helping families with their child custody issues since 2004. One of the more challenging aspects of any divorce is child custody litigation. Clearly, both parents want what is best for their children; however, oftentimes they cannot agree on what is best. In many cases, the courts will require parents with children to attempt to resolve these differences through mediation. When no agreement can be reached by the parents, the parents must then go to an evidentiary hearing at the family court.

An evidentiary hearing is the same thing as a trial. Each party can call witnesses at the hearing and present evidence, then the judge must decide what is in the best interests of the minor child. See Florida Statute 61.13. Florida custody law doesn’t give any preference to fathers or mothers when deciding child custody matters. Custody arrangements will be determined from the specific facts and circumstances of each case. While an attorney is not required in child custody cases in Florida, presenting a case in front of a judge is not an easy thing to do on your own. If the courts are deciding your case, you need an experienced Child Custody Attorney in Summerfield, FL to help you.

Our office gives free consultations, so you have nothing to lose. Give us a call today. We serve clients throughout Summerfield and the surrounding areas.

The Law Offices of Christopher Alan Doty, P.A. offers a variety of domestic and family law services in Marion County and all surrounding areas.

When can a child determine their own custody or visitation status in Florida?

Florida law states that once a child turns 18, they can determine which parent may have custody.  This can happen when the child is younger if compelling evidence convinces the court that the child would be better suited living with the other parent.

What are the Child Custody Rules in Florida?

Know the Basics of Florida Child Custody Law

Every state is different when it comes to child custody issues. In Florida, the state specifies that the child or children’s biological parents make all the important decisions about the following:

  • Which school the child or children will attend
  • What religion the child or children will be raised under
  • All extracurricular activities of the child or children
  • The doctor(s) they will see
  • And most importantly, where the child or children will live

What is Shared Responsibility?

In Florida, it’s important to understand that both parents are encouraged to take an active role in the lives of their children, even after divorce. Ideally, both parents will agree to the terms of this joint responsibility. The purpose is to provide the siblings with the best possible environment, emotionally, and financially, with strong family support. Conditions that could affect joint custody and limit or deny access to one or more parents are:

  • Has a parent been convicted of a 3rd degree felony or greater involving domestic violence?
  • Is there a history of alcohol or drug abuse?
  • Is there a history of child molestation or child sexual abuse?
  • What is the financial ability of either parent to care for the wellbeing of the child or children?
  • Is there a history of mental illness?

Final judgement will come down to what is in the best interests of the child or children. Because this can be so subjective, every case is different. That is why you need the experience of a proven child custody attorney like Chris Doty.

child custody attorney Summerfield

Is it Possible to be Awarded Sole Custody or Responsibility?

In some instances, courts may award one parent sole responsibility. Depending on the case, this sole custody could involve visitation, or it could be denied. Courts would have to believe it’s in the best interests of the siblings to deny access to one or both parents. Because siblings may have many years before they are considered competent to choose themselves, child custody determinations are always subject to change. The circumstances of either parent may change. For example, the relocation of one of the parents can have a profound effect on custody. Would moving the child away from the other parent be in the sibling’s best interests? Child custody is an emotional issue that can have far reaching consequences. Having the services of an experienced child custody attorney like Chris Doty is important to achieving the outcome you deserve.

The Law Offices of Chris Doty also provide legal services for the following:

  • Divorce
  • Uncontested Divorce
  • Post-Divorce Issues
  • Alimony
  • Legal Separation
  • Paternity Issues
  • Visitation
  • Civil/Domestic Violence Injunction
  • Relative or Stepparent Adoption
  • Military Divorce

Why should you consult with Christopher Alan Doty, a dedicated family law attorney?

Every child support case is unique in some ways. Florida law allows for you and your spouse to reach fair agreements that would meet the standards of Florida courts. While we can represent you in the traditional sense, we can also assist in a mediated settlement and can work towards this end with your spouse’s attorney. If your case is contested, I will provide you with skilled representation to protect your rights.

I take pride in looking after the needs of people in Central Florida. Hiring a professional and well-prepared family law attorney is a crucial decision on the outcome of your future and the future of your family. I have helped clients and families across Central Florida and I can proudly say that I have exceeded my client’s expectations on all levels. I offer personalized service and have made it my mission to “FIGHT 4 FAMILIES” throughout Ocala, FL and surrounding areas. As a former United States Marine, it is my honor to continue to serve and protect your rights. I look forward to meeting with you and discussing your case.


Christopher Alan Doty, Esq.


If it’s a knowledgeable attorney you are seeking then Mr. Doty is the perfect attorney to meet your needs. Mr. Doty has handled several issues for me with positive results.

Tammy Anderson

The Law Offices of Christopher Alan Doty, P.A.

proudly offers services in the following areas:

Marion Oaks
Beverly HIlls
Sugarmill Woods

Silver Springs
Fort McCoy
Crystal River
Black Diamond

The Villages
Lady Lake
Top of the World
Candler Hills
Homosassa Springs
Citrus Hills

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