Child Custody: 10 Factors To Consider
It’s a huge deal: who gets custody of the kids in a divorce? While sole physical custody is one option, the ideal situation under Florida law is shared custody. But there are a lot of factors that impact the court’s decision in these matters, so you should pay attention to them if you’re in a battle for custody.
The Legal Standard
Any decisions related to the children are based on a simple standard: what is in the best interests of the kids? The court will view the overall circumstances of each parent and may award responsibility to one or the other in a variety of areas, including physical custody, decisions related to education, health issues, religion, and so forth. When parents can come to an agreement on these issues, the court is generally eager to go along, but when there is conflict, the court will have to make the call based on a number of issues.
1- Your living situation: The judge will be asking about it, so it’s important that you have a safe place for your kids. Is there plenty of room for everyone?
2- The relationship you have with your child: The court will be interested in the time you’ve spent with your kids previously and the quality of your relationship. If you were the primary caregiver in the past, it may help now.
3- Preference of the children: Depending on the age of the kids, their wishes may be considered.
4- Career Obligations: Do you have to travel a lot for work? Will shift work interfere with your ability to care for the kids, get them to school, and so forth?
5- Domestic Violence: Has there been a history of domestic violence in your home? Are there police reports to prove as much? Will your behavior be a danger to the kids?
6- Mental/Physical health: Are there any mental or physical limitations that will make it impossible for you to properly care for the kids?
7- Willingness to work with the other parent: Are you determined to turn the kids against your spouse, or do you recognize the value of having both parents actively involved in the children’s lives?
8- Addictions: Will drugs, alcohol, gambling, or other addictions impact your ability to provide a safe and happy home for the children? Can you say no to influences that are harmful to young minds and hearts?
9- Minimizing Adjustments: How much upheaval will occur for your children? Will they have to change schools? After school care? Will being with you disrupt their lives unnecessarily?
10- Others in the home: Who else lives with you? Roommates? Step- or half-siblings? These could be a factor worth thinking about.
Best Outcomes for All
At WiseLieberman, our dedicated Boca Raton divorce attorneys are committed to seeking the best possible outcomes for you and your children. To discuss the particulars of your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.