During parenting arrangement decision; Judges in Florida base their decision on the best interest of the child. The judge will assess every situation individually, however Florida law recognizes that children generally benefit from continuing recurrent contact with both parents. Judge will consider many factors relevant to parenting. Basic categories are as follow:
✓ Health and Safety
Parents may lose custody or visitation rights if there’s evidence of domestic or sexual violence, or evidence of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect. It’s also possible for a judge to order supervised visitation.
✓Emotional and Developmental Needs
Judges expectations are that parents put the need of their children first, before their own. A minimum disruption of the child will be considered by the court as well as stability.
✓Co-Parenting and Communication Skills
Florida law expects each parent to encourage a positive relationship between the child and the other parent. Parents are expected to protect child from stress. Maintain other parent informed of child`s activities and issues are also responsibility of each parent.
✓ Moral Fitness
This refers to circumstances that might affect a child’s moral and ethical development—for example, substance abuse, frequent casual relationships with multiple partners, verbal abuse, or illegal behavior.
✓ Custody Options
Florida law favors joint legal custody unless there is evidence that this would be detrimental to the child. Parents are free to divide responsibilities between themselves over matters of education, health care, or other aspects of a child’s welfare, provided that the division is consistent with the child’s best interests
✓ Parenting Plans
Florida law requires parents who will share time with minor children to have written parenting plans. In order for a plan to be approved by the court, it must include, at a minimum, details of the following:
1- A plan for sharing responsibility for daily parenting tasks the child’s time-sharing schedule
2- A designated address for school registration and other activities; and
3- A specification of methods and technologies that parents will use to communicate with the child.
4- A designation of who will be responsible for health care and school-related matters.
Read more: FS 61.13