It is common for parents to have concerns about their children’s well-being and overall quality of life following a divorce. For this reason, child custody is often a focus prior to and during the divorce process. Both mothers and fathers want to know who gets custody, and how often the other party will get to see their children. Whether you are preparing to divorce, or have already started the process, you are wise to review your state laws regarding the dissolution of marriages.
Continue reading to learn how courts decide who gets custody after a divorce, and how visitation and time-sharing plans tend to work.
Who gets child custody, and the limits set forth for visitation, all depends on the presiding judge, the state laws governing divorce and child custody, and several other influential factors. However, there are some general trends in the court system that can help you better understand what to expect from your own divorce.
One of the most influential factors used by the family court system to assign custody of children after a divorce is the determination of the primary caretaker. A primary care-taker is the parent who customarily tends to certain basic needs of the children, such as bathing and grooming, meal prepping and cooking, driving, health care decision-making, basic skills teaching, educating and helping with homework, and planning and participating in recreational activities.
Best Interests’ of the Children
Regardless of who the primary caretaker is determined to be, courts will ultimately use the children’s’ best interests to rule on a child custody case. This means ending on a decision that will protect and promote a child’s joy, mental health, emotional development, and security. To do so, the family court system considers certain factors when evaluating and defining a child’s best interest, such as:
✤ Drug or Alcohol Abuse at Home
✤ Relationship Dynamic with Other Members of Household
✤ Mental and Physical Health of Parents
✤ Special Needs of a Child
✤ Stable Home Environment
✤ Adjustment to a New Community
✤ Child’s Own Desires
Child Custody in Non-Divorce Cases
There are many child custody cases that do not involve divorce. In the case that two unmarried parents go to court to determine child custody after parting ways, the same considerations and factors mentioned above will apply. However, most states generally give full custody to the mother in cases involving unmarried couples. Another possible example of a child custody dispute that does not involve married couples are cases of grandparent visitation rights.
Get Trusted Child Custody and Divorce Advice in Florida
Call the Law Office of Shane T. Herbert at 407-236-4852 for help with your divorce and child custody matters in Florida. You can trust our seasoned legal team to meet your family law needs, as our case results speak for themselves. Office visits are not required for initial consultations, as we are happy to provide them over the phone or even video conference, if needed. Contact our Orlando Family Law office at 407-236-4852 to learn what you need to know about resolving or addressing your family legal matters, swiftly and securely.