Parents in Florida face quite a bit of uncertainty when they are involved in child custody disputes. During these issues, there are oftentimes competing opinions and interests that the family court must weigh – coming from two parents who are usually equal in their desire to point out what they think is best for the child. And that is exactly what the family court must determine – what is in the best interests of the child?
Making that determination can be difficult. Legal custody, physical custody and visitation arrangements are usually all part of the equation when it comes to making a child custody order.
Weighing different factors
A family law court that must make a child custody order will need to weigh a variety of factors, which can differ substantially from case to case. For example, if the child in question is old enough, that child’s preferences must be taken into consideration. The child’s education, medical and religious needs must also be evaluated. Each parent’s living situation will be examined, as will the relationship between parent and child, and between the parents.
Many other factors may come into play as well. In the end, determining the “best interests” of the child is a subjective decision. Each parent will get a chance to make their case. And, once a child custody order is in effect, it must be one that the parents can implement with a minimum of friction between them. Joint custody orders are common but, if there is a compelling reason, a family law court might order sole legal or physical custody to one parent over the other.