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What Florida considers when awarding child custody

When your marriage or relationship with your child’s other parent comes to an end, you may have concerns about having to spend some of your time without your son or daughter. Doing so may involve a significant adjustment, but children often enjoy benefits when they are able to maintain strong relationships with both parents, post-divorce. 

When Florida decides where your child should live once you and the other parent part ways, the Florida Legislature reports that it refers to the same set of factors. What are some of the variables Florida considers when awarding child custody? 

Each parents’ contributions to date 

Expect the court to examine how much effort each of you has given to raising your shared child to date. The state may review each parent’s efforts to maintain a close relationship with the child. It may also consider each parent’s willingness to follow and remain flexible when it comes to agreed-upon schedules and time-sharing. 

The child’s preferences

If your son or daughter is of sound mind and is of an appropriate age, the court may take his or her own preferences regarding custody into account. 

Each parent’s willingness to act in the child’s best interests

Florida may also take into account each parent’s ability to consider the needs and desires of the child ahead of his or her own. Parents who have an established history of prioritizing the child’s needs and wants may have a better chance of securing custody. 

The child’s existing environment

The courts may also try to create an arrangement that allows your child to remain in a stable home environment. If he or she has already lived in one location for a long time, the court may try to keep him or her there the majority of the time for the sake of maintaining continuity. 

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