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A brief look at Florida’s best interests standard

On Behalf of | Aug 10, 2020 | Child Custody

If you’re reading this blog post then you’re probably worried about how your pending child custody dispute is going to play out. This is understandable given the stakes that are involved in these matters. If you don’t skillfully negotiate with an eye on aggressive litigation, then you might see your relationship with your child jeopardized. In some instances, a child is even left at risk.

So what are you to do? You need to present evidence that demonstrates why your proposed child custody arrangement best supports your child’s best interest.

The Best Interests Standard

People talk about the children’s best interests all the time. But what, exactly, does it entail? It’s a broad concept that incorporates just about every aspect of your child’s life. Here are some of the factors that a court will take into consideration when determining what sort of child custody arrangement furthers your child’s best interests:

  • Each parent’s physical and mental health
  • The financial resources of each parent
  • The existing relationship between the child and each parent
  • The moral character of each parent
  • The state of the child’s schooling and community
  • Whether any change in custody will disrupt a stable living arrangement that the child currently enjoys
  • Each parent’s demonstrated willingness to put the child’s needs before their own
  • Any history of abuse or neglect
  • Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse
  • Each parent’s ability to provide the child with a much needed routine

This isn’t an exhaustive list, as there are many other major factors, such as the child’s wishes, that must be taken into account.

Building Your Case

Addressing the best interests standard can take some work. There may be areas where you’re stronger than your child’s other parent, but you might have weaknesses in other areas. This is why you need to prepare your child custody case with thought and thoroughness. A family law attorney who knows how to handle these matters may be able to assist you in gathering documentary evidence and witness testimony, or perhaps even securing psychological and other testing, that can put you on the path to success.