In Florida family court, the judge bases all custody and child support cases on the standard of what is in the child’s best interest.
If you and your ex-spouse can come to an agreement, the process is much easier. However, if the judge must decide, there are several factors they consider.
Factors the judge considers
In accordance with Florida child custody law, some factors the judge will take into account when analyzing a custody case include:
- How both parents display their priorities, namely if they show a willingness to put the child’s needs first
- Whether each parent wants to participate in the child’s education and extracurricular activities
- Whether either parent displays morally questionable behavior that could affect the child negatively
- The child’s school records
- Whether each parent appears to support a relationship between the child and the other parent
The judge may also allow the child to testify about their preferences even though the court does not allow minor children to attend a custody hearing in person. However, they can provide testimony on camera, often in the judge’s office.
The best case scenario is that both parents agree on child custody. It will make the court process significantly faster. Typically, the judge will review the written agreement and ratify it without issue unless it somehow violates Florida law.
Should issues arise in the future, either parent can request a modification. Florida family court policy aims to maintain a sense of normalcy for children of divorced parents, meaning the goal is to continue frequent contact with both parents.