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What factors go into child custody determination?

If you are a parent in Florida and are going through a divorce, one of your biggest concerns is probably what will happen to your children. There are numerous factors that a judge considers when making this decision, and it usually comes down to what is in the best interest of the child.

According to Very Well Family, parents often go into a custody battle thinking they know what the best arrangement should be but, ultimately, it is up to the judge to decide, and he or she uses the best-interests standard. There is no set rule or algorithm to figuring out what is best for each individual child, but the judge does consider certain aspects. One is the age of the child and the role the caretaker currently has. Other factors include

  • The physical and mental health of all parties
  • The primary caretaker up to this point
  • The type of relationships between each kid and each parent
  • The ability to provide a sufficient living space as well as a loving environment
  • Evidence of abuse

The Child Welfare Information Gateway discusses other things the judge considers before making a custody decision. One is what the child wants. This is a factor as when considering custody of an older child who understands and is able to discuss why he or she prefers to live with a particular parent. Relationships with other family members may also play a role. If there are siblings or ties with cousins, aunts, grandparents etc., this may make a difference in the decision.


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