If you are separating from your child’s other parent, you may be concerned about sharing the time you spend with your children with your ex. When a court decides child custody, it does not give a preference to mothers over fathers, or vice versa. It will simply make its decision based on the best interests of the child.
Factors used to determine child’s best interests
There is no doubt that a child will be impacted in some way when their parents separate. However, with the right parenting plan in place and parents willing to cooperate, the child will feel supported, safe, and secure, even in the midst all the changes to their family.
Family courts in Florida are primarily focused on the best interests of the child when making custody determinations. Under Fla. Stat. 61.13, here are a few factors Florida courts consider:
- Moral fitness and physical and mental health of each parent
- Each parent’s willingness to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
- Stability of living environment for child
- Each parent’s ability to provide for child
- Evidence of domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, etc.
- Any other relevant factor, as determined by court
Many separating couples end up in bitter custody battles, where each parent fights to take time with the kids away from the other parent. However, it is important to remember that in most cases, when a child has two involved parents, it is in the child’s best interest to maintain a strong relationship with both parents, even if they are no longer together. A family law attorney in your area can help you and your ex come up with a parenting plan that puts your child first and helps you maintain a civil relationship with your ex.