Child Custody

Florida uses the best interests of the child standard to determine custody, parental time sharing, and child support.  The factors in considering the best interests of the child include the parent’s ability to provide a stable home environment, the child’s preference (there is no set age at which the child has an absolute choice), and the custodial parent’s willingness to allow visitation and to encourage an ongoing relationship with the noncustodial parent.

Florida uses the doctrine of Shared Parental Responsibility.  Under shared parental responsibility, both parents should share in the decision making process concerning the important aspects of the child’s life, i.e. school, religion, medical treatment, etc.

In determining custody, the court may order the parties to mediation.  Custody to a nonparent (including grandparents) is justified only if the parents are unfit or relinquish their rights.  Custody determinations are temporary and modifiable.

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