Parents going through a divorce know how difficult it can be to have a judge decide how often you’ll be involved in your child’s life after divorce. But you can gain some peace of mind ahead of your court date by reviewing some of the specific aspects a judge will consider when making a child custody order.
In the state of Florida, custody decisions follow federal and state laws that define the best interests of a child. This includes both the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act and state laws that set guidelines to help a judge decide if parents are fit enough to provide for their children and maintain safe environment.
Child stability prior to divorce
According to state-specific laws, one aspect that will play a role in the determination of child custody rights, is how stable of a home the parents were able to provide prior to the divorce. For example, maybe you made self-serving decisions to move from home to home or played a role in making your child consistently tardy for school. Under these circumstances, a judge might not grant 50/50 custody if they have reason to believe one parent is a lot more organized than the other.
Mental and physical health of parents
The judge will also review how the well-being of you and your ex may affect your ability to take care of your child. This includes both mental and physical health. So, if one parent has a mental illness and seems to be unable to take care of themselves at times, let alone their children, then a judge might not grant them sole custody. Or if one spouse has a chronic illness that leads to bed rest for several days out of the year, then they might receive limited visitation rights.
Parent involvement in child’s life
Perhaps you can provide endless resources to your children given the financial position you are in. However, if you show no interest in your child’s progress in school or activities outside of school, then a judge might believe you don’t have the best interests of your child at heart.
Thankfully, if you’ve done all you can do be present both in-person and emotionally for your little ones, then the court will take note of your efforts. Plus, you can work with a family law attorney who will make your interests and rights a priority.