Factors a Judge May Consider in Deciding Custody

(Broward County, Florida) – November 16th, 2015 – Courts generally make use of a “best interest of the child” standard when it comes to disputed custody cases. This may seem some kind of a nebulous standard that is more concerned with the subjective beliefs of judges, as to what is best for kids. However, there are a few elements that a judge can consider when considering the best interests of a child or children involved in a divorce.

Children’s Age

The doctrine of “tender years” is outdated yet some judges feel that younger children ought to live with the mother. This is particularly true when the mother has remained the principal caregiver, and is nursing a baby as well, according to Broward County, FL divorce lawyers, who can also throw more light on the matter if you are concerned about this issue.

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Living Situation of each Parent

Does where the parents live affect custody of a child? For the most part, it does in some cases. The parent who inhabits the family home has an upper edge when it comes to child custody since it allow them to enjoy continuity and stability in life. On the other hand, the parent who was granted custody gets the family home. If you happen to stay at your friend’s guest room while seeking divorce, chances are you won’t be granted primary custody of your children.

The proximity of your home to that of your spouse might also influence a judge’s decision. The judge may suggest a time-sharing plan, and offer both spouses a lot of time with their kids. The position of their school as well as their sports and social activities also matter. These are complicated questions that an experienced and resolute Florida divorce attorney can help you understand better.

Support the Other Spouses Relationship with Your Children

If you are unwilling to cooperate with your spouse on a parenting schedule, the judge may frown upon you. If you argue with your spouse in the presence of the children, meddle with visitation in some way or the other, or try to alienate your child from your spouse, you could lose your claim for child custody. Just make sure to speak with a Broward County, Florida divorce lawyer to understand the finer aspects of shared parenting and other related issues.

A Child’s Preference

If the kids are in their early teens or so, a judge might speak to them to know their preferences on custody as well as visitation. If in doubt, the judge might learn about their preferences by consulting a custody evaluator.

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Continuity & Stability

When it comes to children, judges are often inclined to believe in maintaining status quo, as they believe that adding more change apart from the traumatic transition of a divorce does not benefit children. If you suggest that things are just fine, you have an advantage over a spouse who may argue about any important transition in either the custody or visitation schedule in place already.

Abuse & Neglect

In case there is evidence that one of the parents has neglected or abused the children, a judge is bound to restrict that parent’s right to have any contact with the kids. They would be derelict if they did not.

For the most part, every situation is unique, and so a judge might consider other factors when determining custody in a divorce case. Therefore, if child support and custody are issues that could hamper your divorce, make sure to hire a steady and honorable Florida divorce lawyer who can help you pursue the custody case successfully or at least put you in a better chance of doing so.