What You Should Understand About Child Custody in Court
For many divorcing parents, determining child custody is a top priority and can be stressful. When children are involved, it is up to the court or the parents to decide how to handle matters like custody, decision-making authority, and visitation. As a family law practice in Orlando, we assist parents with any of their child custody needs so they can get the outcome they deserve. A judge will take many different factors into consideration during the course of a child custody battle, but they will also take the best interest of the child first.
Considerations of the Judge
- Does the evidence point to either parent's history of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect of the child? In no case will a parent who is abusive, neglectful, or violent be given custody of their child by the court.
- The court considers each parent's financial stability, mental health, and access to medical treatment when making a custody decision. If a parent cannot adequately provide for their child, the court will not grant them custody.
- The court will also evaluate the impact of the custody ruling on the child's mental health. The court will consider whether the child prefers to remain in their existing home or wants a change in custody.
- The court will also take into account the child's preferences. The judge will inquire about the child's preference as to where to live or which parent they'd prefer to be with. Only if the child is old enough to make their own decisions will this be done.
- The court takes the housing situation and amenities of both parents' homes into account. The court wants to know whether or not the child will have room in the house of one of the parents. The court will also ask if that room will be enough in size and provide a safe and nurturing environment.
- In addition, the court will consider the parent's mental and physical health while deciding which parent should have custody. If a parent is physically or mentally unfit, the court will not grant custody to that parent.
- The court will also consider the strength of the child's bond with each parent. The court considers the child's preference as to which parent they feel most comfortable and loved by. For this reason, the court is more likely to award custody to the parent with whom the child is developing a healthy and loving bond.
- While the court will take into account the above reasons, it may also consider other mitigating circumstances before deciding to award custody to one parent over the other.
Can Child Custody Arrangements Be Renegotiated?
Yes. Keep in mind that no child custody or visitation right order is ever truly final. Any judgment (whether made by an individual or a court) can be revisited and renegotiated if new information becomes available.
The point is to always keep the child's best interests as the determining factor in child custody cases. And this standard is used by all courts (should you end up there). Also, keep in mind that policies and approaches to custody disputes vary widely from one state or jurisdiction to another. And they are always being revised and updated.
If you are looking for an experienced family law practice in Orlando to assist with your child custody fight, contact our team of attorneys today.