When parents are embroiled in a child custody dispute in Florida family law courts, they may have different goals in mind for how the situation should be resolved. But, family law judges in Florida have only one goal in mind in these legal circumstances: achieving a standard known as the “best interests of the child.” What those interests are and how they are protected are the primary concerns for judges, and it can be difficult to determine how these goals are achieved.
Determining best interests
To start, the court will usually weigh some common factors that apply to any given case, such as: what the parents think is best; what the child thinks is best – if the child is old enough to give an opinion; the history of the relationships between the child and each parent; the relationships with siblings, if any; the educational and community needs of the child; and any physical or mental health issues that impact any of the individuals involved in the legal case.
Of course, each case is unique, so there may be different factors for family law judges to weigh, depending on the case. And, the degree to which the parents can actually agree on some factors may go a long way toward helping family law judges arrive at a decision that is beneficial for all involved. But, at all times, the focus will be on what is best for the child.
Child custody disputes can be notoriously emotional for the parties involved. However, to have the best chance of achieving the goal you are seeking, it helps to focus on the legal aspects of the case and keep emotions in check.