A common misconception among many people going through a divorce is that a parent’s gender or financial ability will determine child custody. However, it is not the case. The children come before anything else.
A family court judge will only issue custody orders that are in the best interests of the children. These interests encompass every aspect of the child’s life, as discussed below.
What the children’s best interests mean
Divorce should not affect a child’s quality of life, happiness, security or emotional and mental needs. These are some of the things a judge will consider when determining the children’s best interests in custody proceedings.
Some of the factors that will come into play include:
- The moral fitness of the parents
- The parenting abilities of each parent
- The mental and physical health of the parents
- Evidence of physical or substance abuse by either parent
- A child’s reasonable preferences if they have the necessary capacity to make such decisions
- Any other factor the court may deem relevant, among others
The list above is just the tip of the iceberg. A lot more goes into determining a child’s best interests in Florida. The end goal is to ensure the safety and welfare of the children after the divorce.
How to prepare for custody proceedings
It is prudent to learn more about how things work and what you can do to protect your interests during custody proceedings. For example, having evidence in support of your position can go a long way in such instances.
Lastly, it is worth noting that court-issued custody orders are legally binding and could have lifelong consequences. Therefore, you should consider having the necessary legal guidance during the entire process. The well-being of the children and your place in their lives is not something you should leave to chance.