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Keeping the Best Interests of the Child in Mind


As families split up and decisions are made about children, it’s important, from both an ethical and a legal standpoint, to consider the best interests of the children. While individuals may differ on what, precisely, that means, the law has some constructs with which to consider the matter.

One of the key issues to be determined relates to child custody. Shared custody is generally beneficial to children so they can maintain vital relationships with both parents. When parents can agree on a custody arrangement and parenting plan, it benefits kids.  Otherwise, the court must intervene to make determinations on the matter. The emotional and physical well-being of children is a top priority that includes a number of factors that must be considered.  Those factors include:

  • Each parent’s willingness and ability to encourage a healthy relationship between the children and the other parent;
  • The willingness of each parent to honor the time-sharing agreement and to flex when circumstances change;
  • Willingness of each parent to put the needs of the children ahead of their own desires;
  • How well the parenting plan works in terms of proximity to schools and the other parent;
  • Physical health and ability of each parent;
  • Mental/emotional fitness of each parent;
  • History of and willingness of each parent to engage with the children’s lives, including knowledge related to friends, school, teachers, hobbies, and so forth;
  • Ability of each parent to provide consistency in terms of routine, discipline, bedtimes, etc.;
  • Willingness to communicate with the other parent in matters relating to the children’s health, education, extracurricular activities, etc.;
  • History or evidence of domestic violence, child neglect or abuse, abandonment, or sexual abuse;
  • Ability of each parent to create a safe and nurturing environment for children, free of illegal activities and threatening people or activities.

The Parenting Plan

Every couple with minor children who divorce must have an approved parenting plan.  That plan will outline the general responsibilities of each parent in terms of routine tasks related to child rearing. It will also address the schedule on a day-to-day schedule, as well as holiday schedules, and how to handle deviations due to illness or other issues. Decision-making powers related to health care, education, religion, and other matters will be detailed, and strategies and requirements for parent communication will be delineated. Individual parenting plans may include expectations related to extended families, vacations, and more, depending on the specific needs of the people involved.

Your Legal Advocate 

At WiseLieberman, our dedicated Boca Raton family attorneys understand how difficult it can be to share responsibilities for your children, and are prepared to help you achieve the very best outcomes possible.  To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation in our office today.



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