When two parents get divorced or were never married to begin with, child custody disputes are resolved through the court system. While the law allows for both parents to be heard on their preferences, it is important to understand that the courts will ultimately decide these issues based on what is best for the child.
A Pembroke Pines child custody lawyer can help you navigate the legal system while protecting your rights as a parent. With their help, you can pursue a fair outcome that secures your relationship with your children until they come of age. Let an experienced family attorney assist you with every aspect of this important legal question.
Parenting Time and Parental Responsibility
In child custody cases, the Judge is tasked with reaching two important decisions: parenting time and parental responsibility with the minor child. Together, these two decisions will largely determine who has the right to raise and spend time with the child in question. A Pembroke Pines child custody attorney can work with someone to fight for a favorable outcome regarding both issues.
Child Custody: Parenting Time
Parenting time is often referred to as physical custody of a child. Also known as “time sharing,” this determination sets out exactly how much time a child spends with each parent during the year. Unless the court has reason to deviate from the agreement, both parents generally receive equal time sharing their children under state law.
While equal time is the most common outcome, it is not the only one. A Judge could review the circumstances and determine that one parent is best suited to handle all or most of the parenting time.
Child Custody: Parental Responsibility
Parental responsibility refers to the right to make the important decisions that come up in the life of a minor child. This includes decisions related to their religious upbringing, education, or medical care. Like with parenting time, the court often grants equal parental responsibility to both parents. However, a Judge could put this decision-making power in the hands of a single parent when necessary, especially if there are domestic violence concerns.
There is no guarantee that the Judge will rule the same way on both issues, which is why it is a good idea to work with a child custody lawyer in Pembroke Pines . For example, the court could award equal parenting time while giving one party sole parental responsibility over the child.
How Pembroke Pines Courts Determine Custody of Children
State law sets out how the courts must determine all child custody issues. The standard used in these cases is to follow the best interest of the child. A Judge will attempt to reach this standard even when it goes against the preferences of one or both parents. Some of the factors that the court considers include:
- The moral fitness of each parent;
- Financial stability of each parent;
- History of domestic violence;
- Child’s needs;
- Child’s preference (if they are old enough);
- Willingness to foster relationships;
- Stability of the home environment.
There may be different ways to interpret a child’s best interest. One benefit of working with a Pembroke Pines child custody attorney is that they can make a case for a specific parent being given equal or primary custody. An attorney can also provide a clear picture to the client of how the court typically rules in these cases.
Talk to a Pembroke Pines Child Custody Attorney for Help Today
There are few things in life that are more important than the relationship between parents and children. When these relationships are determined in a court of law, it is vital to have strong legal counsel to advocate for you.