When it comes to making custody decisions, courts take a number of factors into consideration and attempt to secure an outcome that is in the child's best interests. In Lee County, and across the state of Florida, it is vital for parents who are preparing to file for divorce or are already in the middle of a custody dispute to understand which factors courts assess to determine a child's best interests.
According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, every state has a statute that requires courts to examine which outcome is in the best interests of the child when making a ruling on child custody. However, the laws vary from one state to another. In Florida, courts need to review the emotional bonds children have with their parents and other family members when determining what is in their best interests.
The Florida Senate also provides helpful information concerning a child's best interests. For example, courts must review a child's needs regarding their current physical and mental health as well as each parent's abiliy to provide the child with a safe environment. Furthermore, courts will take a look at each parent's ability to give the child the health care, clothes and food that they need. Other factors include a child's preference and recommendations put forth by a guardian ad litem.
By closely reviewing the various factors that courts examine when making custody decisions, some parents can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. After all, custody rulings can have a significant impact on a child's future and it is essential for parents in this position to thoroughly prepare.