What Are The Best Interests Of The Child In Florida?
Parents going through a divorce must create a parenting and time-sharing plan that outlines the amount of time each spouse will spend with the children. The plan must include the shared responsibilities in school-related matters, parenting tasks, medical care for the child, and other important elements. Parenting plans in Florida should also include the technology and communication method parents will use when communicating with the child or the other parent.
When parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide on a plan. Judges making these decisions will take a number of factors into consideration. All of these factors examine what is in the best interests of the child. So, what are those factors? Our Brandon child custody attorney explains what they are below.
What are the Best Interests of the Child in Florida?
The Florida Statutes outline 20 different factors to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Family law judges can consider any factor that is relevant to a specific situation. The 20 factors outlined in the law are as follows:
- A demonstrated willingness of each party to maintain a close relationship with the child and to honor the time-sharing plan,
- The expected division of parental responsibilities,
- A demonstrated willingness of each party to provide for a child’s needs,
- The length of time the child has lived in an environment that provides stability for them,
- The viability of the parenting plan according to the parents’ geographical locations,
- The moral fitness of each parent,
- The physical and mental health of each parent,
- The child’s community, school, and home record,
- The child’s preference, when they are of a certain maturity or age,
- A demonstrated willingness of each party to be involved and informed about the child’s life, including their interests, friends, and daily activities,
- A demonstrated willingness of each party to provide a predictable routine for the child,
- A demonstrated willingness of each person to communicate with the other parent,
- Any evidence of child neglect, child abuse, domestic violence, sexual violence, or child abandonment,
- Any evidence that either parent has knowingly provided fraudulent information to the court,
- The extent of parenting tasks each parent performs,
- A demonstrated ability of each party to be involved in the child’s educational and extracurricular activities,
- A willingness to maintain a substance-free environment for the child,
- The ability of each party to shield the child from future litigation,
- The ability of each part to provide for the child’s emotional and development needs, and
- Any other factor the court considers relevant.
Working in the Best Interests of the Child
There are many ways to obtain a successful outcome in your custody case if the matter goes to court. The best way, though, is to show that you are willing to act in the best interests of the child, during custody hearings and afterward. A Brandon child custody attorney can help you prove your case and demonstrate to the court that you will always work in the best interests of the child.
Call Our Child Custody Attorney in Brandon for a Consultation
If you are going through a divorce that involves children, do not go through custody hearings alone. At Koether Law, P.A., our Brandon child custody attorney will fight for your rights to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us at 813-347-8193 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.