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Understanding the Best Interests of a Child

To determine child custody and timeshare, the court will determine which arrangement best supports the child’s best interests. There are several factors a judge will consider and, though there might be some variations from state to state, there are some standards that are generally considered when rendering a decision. If you are in the midst of a child custody dispute, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with what the court views as a child’s best interests.

Here are some of the factors a judge will consider when determining your child’s best interests in a custody case and timeshare case:

  • The factors in Florida are listed in Florida Statute Section 61.13(3)(a-t). They are Primary Factors and the last factor is “Any other Relevant Factors”.
  • The ability of each parent to meet the emotional and physical needs of a child: A judge will assess if the ability of each parent to provide adequate shelter, food, clothing, education, medical care, parental guidance, and love. Additionally, a judge will consider the mental and physical health of each parent to ensure they are capable of caring for the child.
  • The ability of each parent to maintain consistency: Family courts generally prefer the routine of a child to suffer minimal disruptions and will choose the arrangement that best maintains consistency. If a child can remain in the same school and keep the same child care arrangements, a judge would show a preference for this.
  • The age of the child: Younger children need more care than older children, which typically means that a judge will defer to the primary caregiver of the child. A judge will also examine the bond the child has with each parent.
  • The willingness of each parent to cooperate with one another: If a judge suspects that one parent will try to interfere with the other’s relationship with the child, or disobey the timeshare arrangement, this will be taken into consideration and impact the custody decision. Keep in mind that the court generally considers the involvement of both parents to be in the best interests of a child, so a judge will not look favorably upon a parent who is uncooperative.
  • A history of violence, substance abuse, or neglect: If either parent has a history of violence or neglect, this would present a risk to the safety of a child and would have a major impact on a judge’s decision.

Schedule a Free Case Review with a Child Custody Attorney Today!

If you are seeking child custody or timeshare modification, you will need a skilled legal advocate on your side to help you obtain the results you desire. At the Law Office of Jerome P. Ventura, our child custody attorney is backed by over 25 years of experience in the field and has the insight and compassion to provide the representation you need to handle this sensitive legal matter. We understand the difficulties parents experience during this process, which is why we are committed to helping you every step of the way.

Call our law office today at (954) 280-6119 to schedule a free initial case review with our child custody attorney to discuss the details of your case.