TAMPA PATERNITY MEDIATOR
Mediation Of Child Custody For Unmarried Parents
Maybe you were together a while but never “tied the knot.” Or perhaps you had a brief relationship that resulted in a pregnancy. Whether you have lots of history or hardly know each other, disputes involving paternity, parenting time and financial support can be awkward and complicated for parents who are not married.
Emotions may be at an all-time high and trust levels at an all-time low, but going to court will only make matters worse. Attorney mediator Beth Reineke helps unwed parents resolve custody-related matters without resorting to litigation. We will help you understand the rights and obligations of each parent under Florida law and then work out practical co-parenting arrangements.
Tampa attorney mediator Beth Reineke has over 30 years of experience working with couples in family law. She is Certified by the Florida Supreme Court to conduct custody mediations, and she is a trained parent coordinator who can intervene to resolve high-conflict custody disputes.
If the parents are not married when the child is born, it may be necessary to legally establish paternity (parentage) through genetic testing. Once a DNA test confirms paternity, that man is considered the legal father. This triggers parental obligations, parental rights and — in many cases — intense conflicts.
Through mediation Beth Reineke has helped parents find reasonable solutions to paternity disputes:
- Time sharing — Under Florida law, both parents have equal standing as parents, even if the mother has been the sole caregiver. An unwed father has a right to parenting time (visitation) or shared custody, even if the mother objects.
- Parenting plans — The court requires a detailed schedule that spells out overnights, vacations, holidays, and other co-parenting matters.
- Shared parental responsibility — Both parents are entitled to a say in decisions about education, health care and religious practices, and both parents are entitled to regular contact with and communication regarding the child. See Shared Parenting – A Single Parent’s Bill of Rights.
- Child support — The mother is entitled to child support, retroactive to the baby’s birth, but child support arrears can be negotiated.
- Relocation — Once parentage has been established, moving the child out of state or to a distant part of Florida requires court approval.
- Modifications — Over time, it may be necessary to fine-tune the parenting plan or modify child support.
- Interference with parental rights — Time-sharing disputes or withholding of child support can be resolved without court intervention.
Supreme Court Certified Mediator
Not all mediators are licensed attorneys- Attorney Beth Reineke brings legal experience and practical insights to the mediation process.
Over 3 Decades of Legal Experience
Attorney-Mediator Beth Reineke has over 3 decades of legal experience in helping families find divorce resolutions.
We believe any aspect of divorce and custody can be resolved without a courtroom fight. Beth Reineke has mediated complex property division, entrenched custody disputes, and high-stakes alimony and child support issues. She provides creative suggestions, gentle guidance and reality check wisdom from her years of experience in courtroom wars.
We offer free phone consultations and reasonable rates for mediation, drafting of agreements, preparation of court documents and other mediation services. During your initial consultation, Attorney Reineke will discuss the benefits of mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and whether these methods are the right fit for your situation.
Although you are not together as a couple, you are forever linked as parents. We strongly believe that alternative dispute resolution is superior to the cost, animosity and uncertainty of litigation. Beth Reineke is a trained parent coordinator, and she mediates paternity cases in Tampa, Brandon, New Port Richey, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and throughout the Tampa Bay Area.