VAN RIPER & NIES ATTORNEYS                 772-283-8712
Stuart Divorce Law Firm                                 

Child Custody

Timothy C. Nies

Christian Van Riper




"We work hard for families and children..."

Van Riper and Nies Attorneys merge hard work, skill, personal attention and open communications in fighting for the rights of our clients.

Many are familiar with the terms "visitation" or "custody"; however, in 2008, these terms have been eliminated from Florida Family Law. No longer will there by a designation, under Florida Law, of a "primary custodial parent" or a "primary residential parent". Now, in cases involving minor children, parties must submit a "parenting plan", which specifically sets out the time sharing that will take place between each party and their children. 

Our attorney, Christian Van Riper, is a former Assistant State Attorney, where he prosecuted cases of domestic violence and child endangerment, and a former investigator with the Department of Children and Families, where he investigated allegations of child abuse and neglect. He has unique understanding of how a divorce can impact a family, especially young children. He strives hard to minimize the impact of a divorce on children. It is his major focus in handling all family law cases. 

Florida public policy is to assure that each minor child has "frequent and continuing contact" with both parents after a divorce. Florida courts also encourage both parents to share in the rights and responsibilities of raising their children. In determining family issues between parents and their
children, the "best interest of the child" is always the court’s primary focus.  This standard involves consideration of many different factors including: keeping siblings together, who is the primary caregiver, a parent's psychological and physical fitness, the child's preference if he or she is of an appropriate age to express one, the financial ability to care for the child, and lastly whether there is a history of domestic violence.

Of course, every case is not the same. On some occasions, witnesses are asked to testify as to the child raising ability of a parent. On other occasions, witnesses are called to testify that one parent is not a fit and proper person to have majority time-sharing (custody) of the children, such as use of alcohol or drugs.  On few occasions, psychologists or psychiatrists are called to interview the parties' children and the parties to determine what arrangement is best for the children.

For more information about our family law practice, please contact us at 772-283-8712, complete the confidential contact form below, or e-mail attorney Timothy Nies at
Van Riper and Nies Attorneys, P.A.
900 SE Ocean Boulevard, Suite 140-E
Stuart, FL 34994

Stuart - West Palm Beach - Deerfield Beach - Delray Beach

By Tim Nies


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