While it’s typically in you and your child’s best interest to resolve child custody issues out of court, this is sometimes impossible. An experienced family law attorney will help you negotiate with your spouse, assess your child’s best interests, and if necessary, present your custody claims to a judge.

In that event, the court shall determine custody with the best interests of the child and in accordance with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The law requires that the court use the “best interest of the child” standard when determining custody. A judge will, for good reason, center their focus in a custody case on the children more than any other issue.

The court will ensure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of child-rearing. After considering all relevant facts, the father of the child shall be given the same consideration as the mother in determining the primary residence of a child irrespective of the age or sex of the child. (Florida Statutes – Chapters: 61.13).

Once a court issues a child custody order, you must follow it. However, a family law attorney can help you file a petition to modify a custody or visitation order if you or your child’s circumstances change significantly.

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Child Custody Matters In Florida

Florida courts determine child custody based on the best interest of the child without regard to the sex of the parent or the child. The court will order the parents to share parenting responsibilities unless shared responsibility would be detrimental to the child. In making its determination, the court will evaluate several factors, including which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent contact with the other parent, the emotional ties between each parent and the child, the parents’ ability to provide the child with material needs, and the child’s adjustment to home, school, and community.

The judge will determine a time-sharing schedule for the parents regarding the minor child.

To modify a custody order, parents must show that there has been a substantial change in circumstances and that it would be in the child’s best interest to change the custody plan.

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