If you’re reading this, you most likely want to gain custody of your child, preferentially sole custody or a majority of the time-sharing agreement with your child. While Florida does not have an official shared custody requirement, courts generally lean towards awarding shared custody to both parents for the child’s wellbeing.
How Does the Court Grant Custody?
When granting custody, the court’s main focus is the best interests of the child. In most cases, the courts will grant joint custody to preserve the child’s relationships with both parents unless one parent is proven to be unfit for custody or shared custody would not be in the child’s best interests. To be named the parent with primary custody or a majority of the time-sharing agreement, then you will need to prove to the courts why it would be in the child’s best interests.
What is in the Child’s Best Interests?
The child’s best interests are a guideline the court uses when considering custody. Ultimately, the child’s best interests are ensuring that the child will be able to grow and develop into a stable adult. With this guideline, the courts consider living environments, educational opportunities, time spent with each parent, the fitness of each parent, any past history of family violence, and any other circumstances that would affect the child’s development.
How to Prove an Unfit Parent
If a parent is viewed as “unfit” by the courts, they will not be awarded custody of the child and lose their custody rights. Courts typically deem parents unfit after considering:
- Past history of drug, alcohol, or other substance abuse
- Any mental health conditions that may make the parent unable to fully care for the child
- Any past family violence or restraining orders
- Any past abuse or neglect of the child or other family members
- If the parent can provide a stable environment for the child
There is a high burden of proof on the other parent to prove a parent unfit because of the court’s desire to preserve parental relationships with the child. For a parent to be proven unfit, the actions must be serious.
Are You Seeking Sole or Primary Custody?
If you are seeking custody of your children, our child custody attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonny Kousa, P.L. are prepared to fight to preserve your parental bond with your children. We understand that as a parent, you want to protect your children because our team is made up of parents.
Call our Coconut Creek child custody attorneys at (954) 626-8071 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our attorney.