Child Custody Arrangements
Going through a divorce is complicated, but where children are involved, it can be all the more stressful. Settling issues of custody is the most important part of your divorce. Both you and your former spouse will naturally be very protective of your child and want the best possible arrangement for custody. It is important that the general protective nature of a parent not to be confused with unhealthy parental alienation. Both parents want what is best for the child and that will always include the other parent barring any history of emotional, physical, or drug abuse.
Who Decides Child Custody
Both parents were instrumental in the development of the child, so it seems natural that the parents would decide what is best in terms of custody, however, that is not always the case. In most custody situations, the court is likely to weigh in and decide the custody arrangement. While both parents always want the best for the child, they may not necessarily agree on what that is. That is where the court comes in and determines what is best.
General Florida Custody Arrangements Include:
- Exceptions aside, the court believes the child must have a relationship with both parents
- Both parents share rights to a relationship with their child
- Both parents share responsibility for raising their child
- Shared Parenting agreements are recommended and encouraged
- Both parents share the decision making on rearing the child, their health, education, etc.
Is Shared Parenting Appropriate In Your Case?
The court will determine if a shared parenting arrangement is appropriate for you based on what they feel is in your child’s best interest. Here are some factors they will consider:
- Parental Fitness: your moral fitness, emotional, mental and physical condition of both parents
- Communication: are both parents willing to communicate amicably and reasonably?
- Childs History: what is the history of the child’s living circumstances, education, and submission of the child’s records
- Alienation: are both parents able to nurture healthy guidance on the child’s relationship with the other parent?
- Childs Development: are both parents able to meet their child’s developmental needs?
- Parental Responsibility: how have both parents maintained their responsibilities to the child?
Lastly, the court may choose to weigh the parent’s wishes as well as the child’s wishes, provided the child is of the age, and able to communicate their needs clearly. Should there be any history of prior abuse, whether it is a child or spousal abuse, neglect, abandonment, or any violence in the home, these will also be taken under consideration.
Get Assistance With Your Child Custody Case
Should you need assistance with your custody arrangement, it is best to speak to a child custody attorney as early on in the process as possible so as to understand your rights and responsibilities. Contact our office today for custody assistance in Tampa and the surrounding areas.