Jerome C. Williams, Jr., Attorney at Law
Your St. Petersburg Family Law & Divorce Attorney 

​​​​St. Petersburg, FL 33711
​St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 369-6569 or (727) 497-0526 
We offer low cost Case Strategy Sessions and Flat Fee pricing! 


The issue of child custody most often arises in divorce cases, however, custody can also become an issue if married parents separate from each other, or in connection with a lawsuit to determine paternity.  The terms custody and visitation, are no longer used.  Instead, the terms used are "parental responsibility," and "time-sharing."  Parental Responsibility, which refers to who has the right to make major decisions about the child's welfare, where Time-sharing refers to a schedule that both parents must adhere to in relevance to who the child will stay with during that time frame.  If the child's parents are married to each other, the most common way that custody/time-sharing is resolved is through a divorce.  In Florida, a divorce is called a dissolution of marriage.  Under Florida law, married parents each have equal rights to the custody of their child.  This may only be changed by an order from the judge.  Once parents separate, either may ask for custody in their petition for dissolution of marriage.  Either may also file a motion to seek temporary relief regarding time-sharing, while the dissolution of marriage case is pending.  Sometimes married parents separate, but for religious or other reasons, they don't want to file for dissolution of marriage.  This can create a time-sharing problem.  Thie Florida legislature has established a way for separated parents to seek child suppport, through a court procedure for support unconnected with dissolution of marriage.  The primary focus of this court procedure is to obtain financial support, not to seek custody.  However, it is possible to request custody in a case seeking child support unconnected with dissolution of marriage.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are looking to obtain time-sharing with your child, and you have been deprived of that opporotunity, please feel free to reach out to us to see if we can be of help.  We offer affordbale pricing, and informative Case Strategy Sessions.