Your child custody agreement—it is a serious and often contentious part of divorcing with children. In truth, the issues surrounding a child custody decision inspire a range of emotions in parents from dread to fear to anger. While making custody decisions are unavoidable, there are ways to prepare yourself for the process. If both parents take such steps, either separately or together, it can greatly reduce much of the negativity divorcing parents often expect.
Education is a major tool divorcing parents can rely on. After all, if you know how child custody decisions are made, you will have a better chance to influence the final decision. Below you will find some of the most important factors Florida courts use to make a ruling in child custody hearings.
— Child’s age and gender– Evidence of inappropriate parental behaviors (drug or alcohol abuse, violence, or sex abuse)– The physical and mental health of each parent– Providing the child with a stable home environment– Extended family interaction– The best interests of the child– Depending upon the child’s age, his or her custody wishes
Acquiring attorney representation is also a tool parents can use during child custody decision-making. It is true that some parents can accomplish this without representation, but in many cases going it alone simply does not work very well. Working through attorneys can provide each parent with a buffer zone and often ease the process. If contentious issues arise, an attorney can advise the parent on the best course of action as well.
Only you can know if you need a lawyer to help with your child custody arrangements. However, by reviewing our web pages on divorce and custody in Florida, you can make an informed decision about your attorney representation needs.