When it comes to family law, few disputes are more challenging than the custody of a minor child. This issue can dominate divorce proceedings, but custody disputes can also involve unmarried co-parents as well. No matter what your family circumstance is, a dedicated family lawyer can help protect a parent’s child custody rights.
If you are part of a custody dispute, it is vital that you seek out legal counsel today. The sooner you discuss your options with a Little Gables child custody lawyer, the better your odds are for a favorable outcome in this challenging time.
What is the “Custody” of a Child?
It is important to notice that state law does not recognize “custody” of a minor child. Instead, the law uses the term “time-sharing” to determine how much time each parent has with the child. A Judge will issue an order determining time-sharing as part of a divorce decree or in a separate case if divorce is not relevant to the situation.
There are two types of time-sharing: majority time-sharing and equal time-sharing. In other jurisdictions, this is known as joint custody vs. shared custody. As the name suggests, equal time-sharing involves both parents receiving equal time with their child. Under majority time-sharing, one parent has more time than the other.
It is not unusual for a Judge to enter a child-sharing order on a temporary basis while the court is considering the issue. This is true during divorce proceedings but is also the case when the Judge is considering the parental rights of an unmarried couple. Both instances could benefit from the help of a Little Gables parental timesharing lawyer.
Who Decides the Custody Issue?
Ultimately, it is up to the court to determine how much time a child spends with each parent. This decision is made based on what a Judge determines to be in the best interest of the minor child. The “best interest of the child” standard requires the Judge to consider several different factors. While the standard does consider the preferred outcome of the parents, their wishes are secondary to what is best for the minor. Some of the common factors the court considers include the following:
- The willingness of the parents;
- The moral fitness of the parents;
- Evidence of domestic violence;
- Ability to provide a safe environment;
- Medical needs of the child;
- Development of the child.
According to the law, the court may listen to the wishes of the child if they are of sufficient age and have an understanding of what it would mean. Even then, the wishes of the child is only one of the factors the court would look at.
In many cases, both sides will have very different views on what is best for a minor child. A child custody attorney in Little Gables can assist a parent in making the case that they are best suited for most of the time-sharing with their child.
Call a Little Gables Child Custody Attorney Today for Guidance
Disputes over how to raise a minor child can be difficult to settle in divorce court. It is understandable if you are concerned that these proceedings could have a harmful impact on your relationship with your child or the co-parent.
You could give yourself the best possible chance of a positive outcome by discussing your options with legal counsel from The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm. Call a Little Gables child custody lawyer as soon as possible for a free, confidential consultation.