When your Florida marriage starts to sour, you may do everything possible to hold it together to avoid the possibility of losing time with your kids. Sometimes, though, your entire family may be better off after a split, but you must figure out what you plan to do with the children you and your spouse once shared moving forward.
Unless you and your child’s other parent agree on parenting time and custody terms, you may need Florida’s family court system to come up with a custody plan for you. According to the Florida Legislature, you should expect the court to consider the following variables, among others, when making child custody determinations.
The child’s existing living arrangement
Expect the courts to review your child’s current living arrangement and whether there is a good reason to keep him or her there when making decisions about custody. If the child already lives in a safe, stable setting, the court may prioritize keeping him or her there.
The existing relationships between parent and child
Courts may also consider the relationships or lack thereof that already exist between you and your child and your spouse and your child. This might include each parent’s demonstrated capacity to maintain a close relationship with the child at the center of the matter.
The parents’ willingness to work with one another
The court may also review how flexible each of you has been to date in terms of changing arrangements, modifying schedules and cooperating with one another.
These are just some of the areas that undergo review during Florida child custody proceedings. Additional factors that may come into play include each parents’ health, their geographic proximity to one another and the child’s own preferences, among others.