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Important factors in deciding child custody in Florida

Going through a divorce in which children are involved can be exceedingly trying and emotional for all parties. In nearly every case, the decision as to which parent will primarily care for the child as well as who the child will live with must be made. Sometimes the parents are in agreement, and the child custody determination is easily reached. However, sometimes this decision is not as easily decided.

A Florida family court's main priority and concern is doing what is in the child's best interest. Divorce can have a serious effect on a child. As a result, child custody rulings are considered serious matters, and there are a multitude of circumstances and factors that are considered before a decision is made.

Some of the factors that a court will assess include school as well as home history, the parents' physical, moral and mental status as well as the proposed home's permanence. Additionally, other factors include the ability of the parents to provide for their child, the love and existing ties between the child and the respective parent and whether each parent will honor the proposed time-sharing schedule. Parents must provide the court with as much information as they can -- including information regarding the other parent -- as without this information, a fair custody ruling is more difficult to be decided upon.

When parents in Florida are not awarded primary child custody, those parents still have the right to extensive contact with their child. Child visitation is awarded to parents provided there was no showing of neglect or abuse. When individuals seek to obtain or modify visitation rights, they typically consult an experienced family law attorney to represent their interests through the process.

Source: findlaw.com, "Primary child custody factors in Florida", Oct. 20, 2015

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