RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
“Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results.”
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How Do Florida Courts Decide Child Custody Issues?

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Florida Courts make custody determinations, and approve parenting plans and time-sharing schedules based on what is in the best interest of the child.  To account for the unique aspects of each case, Florida State Law determines the child’s best interests based on a variety of criteria.  Some are as follows:

Child’s Best Interest Criterion:

  • The ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.
  • The ability for each parent to determine, consider, and act upon the needs of the child as opposed to the needs or desires of the parent.
  • The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  • The moral fitness of the parents.
  • The mental and physical health of the parents.
  • The home, school, and community record of the child.
  • The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
  • The ability for a parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
  • The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.
  • The capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation
  • The developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child’s developmental needs.

These are only some of the factors the court must consider.  Further, the court does not have to weigh them all equally or somehow decide on a timesharing arrangement based on the parent in whose favor the majority of these weigh.  In fact, the court could determine that, although almost all the factors weigh in favor of one parent, the other parent should have the majority of timesharing because the other factors weigh so heavily in favor of that parent or are more important to this particular child. For a complete list of each factor, as well as examples and descriptions for each, we encourage readers to view ‘Best Interest Criterion.’

Obviously, the manner in which the court makes custody decisions is not simple and how timesharing will be established is something that is unique for each child.  As a result, you should never attempt to represent yourself in a child custody dispute.  Instead, call the experienced child custody attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. and let them help protect your child’s best interest.
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