Parental responsibility: Determining the best interests of the child

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Filing for divorce, even with the help of Miami family lawyer, can be a complex and emotionally fraught process for both parties, particularly if there are disputes regarding the distribution of assets and spousal support. However, for couples with children, making arrangements for their long-term care and custody is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions in a divorce proceeding.

“It is the public policy of this state to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or the marriage of the parties is dissolved and to encourage parents to share the rights and responsibilities, and joys, of childrearing,” states Florida 2012->Chapter 61″>Statute 61.

When ruling on matters such as the primary residence of a child, and how their time will be divided between parents, a court will evaluate the following factors, among others, to determine the parenting arrangement that will suit the child’s best interests:

  • Any history of domestic abuse, or evidence that such history has been concealed
  • The ability and intent of both parents to provide for the child in terms of medical care, food, clothing and other material needs.
  • The existing emotional bond between the child and both parents
  • The moral fitness, physical and psychological health of both parents
  • The preference of the child, if they are deemed able to determine it by the court
  • The projected permanence of the custodial home
  • The time the child has spent in a stable home, and the desire of all parties to maintain that environment
  • The willingness of either parent to facilitate “frequent and continuing contact with the nonresidential parent,” and encourage their ongoing relationship.

If you are filing for divorce inĀ Florida, you may have concerns about how the process will affect your children. Scott A. Ferris, Esq. is an experienced and responsive Miami divorce lawyer who will work with you to promote the best interests of your kids.