Parents who are going through a divorce have to deal with the realities of child custody. Having to have a judge determine where your child will live and who can make decisions for your child can be difficult. When you embark upon the child custody journey, it is important for you to understand some of the basics of child custody in Florida.
When a judge is trying to decide who gets custody of the children, there are several factors that have to be considered. The moral fitness of the parents is one such factor. This means that the child's parents' actions are looked at. The parents' ability and willingness to care for the child in an acceptable manner, including taking the child to the doctor, ensuring the child goes to school and other similar activities, is considered.
The court will try to determine which parent can provide stability for the child. This can mean having a stable home, being able to provide a consistent schedule for the child and being able to meet the child's needs on a daily basis.
In Florida, child custody isn't all or nothing. Parents can have shared custody, which means that the child gets to spend equal amounts of time with each parent. This means that the parents have to work as a team to make choices for the child about religion, schooling and medical care.
Ultimately, the court will try to determine what is best for the child. If the child is old enough, the court might even weigh the child's preferences in with other factors to make the determination. Those going through a custody case must ensure they properly represent the best interests of the child while keeping their rights protected.
Source: WomansLaw.org, "Custody" Dec. 03, 2014