Divorcing with children can be a very emotional and complex matter. In fact, parents in Florida may find it difficult to imagine their lives parenting alone. Nonetheless, divorcing parents across the nation must face this family law issue. This means that they must determine what the best custody arrangement is for them and their child.
When parents cannot come to an agreement on their own through negotiations, mediation or collaboration, they will rely on a court to help them reach a final order. In order to reach a fair and workable decision, courts consider various factors when assessing which parent should have primary custody or if shared custody is best for the child. Two factors that may be considered during this process are the needs of the child or children involved and the adjustments that will occur to a child’s home, school and religious activities.
With regards to a special needs child, a court will determine specific factors to this situation. This includes the medical needs of the child, the need for special schooling, the need for specialized transportation devices and the need for special apparatus in the home. If one or both parents are able to provide these needs, this could give some weight to the matter.
Other commonly considered factors in a child custody case include the medical needs of the child, the age of the child, the extracurricular activities the child participates in, how the custody arrangement could impact the relationship a child has with friends and family members, the commitment to religious upbringing and what the proposed parenting or visitation schedule looks like. When taking these and other factors into consideration, the court is then able to award a custody arrangement that is fit for everyone involved and meets the best interests of the child.
It is never easy going from having access to your child full-time to half time or even less. Thus, divorcing parents should note their situation, potential arrangements and ways they can protect their parental rights while meeting the needs of their children.
Source: Thespruce.com, “The Most Important Factors Considered in a Child Custody Hearing,” Debrina Washington, Dec. 1, 2016
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Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.
Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.
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