In issuing its decision, the court is required under law to consider the best interests of the child and make the determination based on this. In order to determine the best interests of the child, the court will review a number of factors, as found in Florida Statutes 61.13, including the following:
- The capacity of each parent to foster a loving relationship between the child and the other parent and to communicate with the other parent.
- Parental responsibilities and whether and how responsibilities will be delegated to third parties.
- The ability of each parent to act on the needs of the child.
- The child’s environment.
- The geographic viability of a parenting plan and different custody/visitation arrangements.
- The moral fitness and physical and mental health of each parent.
- The preferences of the child if the child is of sufficient age to express such preferences.
- The ability of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child.
- Any evidence of domestic violence, abuse, or abandonment.
- Any history of substance abuse and each parent’s ability to maintain an environment that is free from substance abuse.
- Any other factors the court finds necessary and relevant.
Can a Child Custody Order Be Modified?
An unfavorable outcome in a child custody case can be devastating for a parent. Equally as frustrating can be a child custody order that no longer makes sense for parents or a child in the future. When there has been a significant change in circumstances following a child custody judgment, either or both parents together can file a petition for modification of a child custody order. If you are seeking modification of a court order, our law firm can provide legal assistance.
How to Improve the Outcome of Your Child Custody Case
The court presumes that it is in the child’s best interests to maintain a relationship with both parents; this presumption can be challenged with evidence to the contrary. If you want to improve the outcome of your child custody case, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a skilled child custody lawyer. Your lawyer can help you to understand the law and prepare your case, including gathering evidence that supports the child custody arrangement you want. Your lawyer can also gather evidence that weakens your ex’s case.
Before your case even goes to litigation, though, your attorney will represent you during negotiations and help you to reach an agreement that is fair and that avoids the courtroom process. Litigation is expensive, time-consuming, and can be detrimental to a child. It is often a last-resort option.
Call Our Tampa Child Custody Attorney Today
At the offices of Busciglio, Sheridan & Schoeb, we know how emotional a child custody case can be. When you hire our Tampa child custody law firm, we promise to advocate for you and work hard to protect your interests. To learn more about our lawyers and the legal services we provide, please call us directly at (813) 225-2695, send us a message online, or visit our law office in person.