Factors when determining child custody in Florida

Because the splitting up of a family can have a major emotional impact on a child, Florida judges try to make decisions that are in the best interest of the child. As a result, one parent may be given more time with their child than the other, especially if the child has school and other extracurricular activities to attend.

When making the decision on which parent will be awarded custody, the judge may take into account a number of factors. These can include the parent's ability to provide a stable home and support on a day-to-day basis, how involved in the child's life the parent was in the past, if the parent is able to meet the developmental needs of the child and how permanent the child's home will be.

The judge may also look at some additional factors regarding the parents when determining custody. These factors can include whether or not a parent has a history of domestic violence, whether or not a parent is willing to involve the other parent in activities or open to reasonable requests to modify visitation schedules and if the parent is willing to honor the visitation schedules that are put into place by the court. A parent who is willing to involve the other parent is much more likely to obtain custody than a parent who refuses to do so.

If the two parents can work together and can agree to share the raising of a child, both parents are more likely to be happy with the child custody agreement. However, if the parents cannot agree on how to work together, an attorney could potentially help a client provide evidence of the capability of providing a stable, loving environment while keeping the other parent involved as much as possible.

Source: Findlaw, "Primary Child Custody Factors in Florida", September 01, 2014

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