Many of the Sarasota clients that we here at The Law Office of Phillip J. Schipani, P.A. have worked with have found setting aside their emotions towards their ex-spouses in order to work together to create a parenting plan to be one of the most difficult elements of their divorces. With the pain associated with your breakup still fresh in both your minds, it may be easy to see why both you and your ex-spouse believe yourselves individually as being the better option to raise your kids. The law, however, has set its own standard on how custody should be determined.
According to Section 61.13(3)(f) of the Florida state statutes, both yours and your spouses "moral fitness" is considered when reviewing your proposed parenting plan. You may have your own ideas as to the state of your moral fitness, yet how does the court determine it? Morality itself can be a subjective topic, with your points of view differing from others. The court's job in this situation is not necessarily to determine which is right or wrong, but rather how it may have an influence on your children.
When determining your moral fitness, the court may consider factors such as:
- Your current or previous involvement with substance abuse
- Whether you were or are the focus of a criminal investigation (particularly one involving domestic violence)
- Your relationship history (specifically whether you frequently have casual relationships with multiple partners)
- Whether you have been up-front and honest during your divorce proceedings
The court may also consider your overall demeanor to determine whether you may be cold or verbally abusive. Thus, how you carry and comport yourself can have a significant impact on your custody determination. More information on preparing for your child custody proceedings can be found here on our site.