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What factors are considered in child custody awards?

The decision to end a marriage is generally never easy for Florida couples, especially when children are involved. Child custody litigation is difficult for parents and children alike, but can be especially confusing for children who do not understand why their parents are no longer living together. It can lead to a very insecure time in children's lives, and the constant struggle between parents to determine parental rights can be very damaging for them.

One of the ways families in Florida can avoid the turmoil surrounding litigation is to come to a child custody agreement through either an informal settlement or alternative dispute resolution mechanism. This way, not only are families spared the difficulty of going to court and rehashing a difficult time in the marriage, but also the parenting plan is created in accordance with each party's wishes. This means all parties amicably agree on the salient points, including custody, visitation and holidays.

However, when an amicable agreement is not possible, courts have to make a decision regarding child custody. When this happens, as per family law, courts have to make the decision keeping the child's best interests in mind. The term may seem vague, but it gives courts the ability to look at a factor of things to determine custody awards, including but not limited to, the child's school and home history, permanence of the proposed home, parents physical moral and financial status and the parent's ability to provide. In addition to this, courts also consider the love and affectionate ties between the parent and child and whether the parent will respect the other one, be accommodating in taking into account changes and encourage contact with the other parent.

Therefore, it is important to note that the best interests of the child can span a variety of factors and needs to be prepared to provide substantial information regarding not only themselves but also the other parent in court. It may be beneficial for Florida residents to consult an experienced attorney to be aware of the type of information required to make a best interests determination.

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