How To Get Full Custody In Florida
For most parents, the prospect of losing custody of their children is both devastating and terrifying. Many parents hope to receive full custody. Florida courts prefer to award joint custody whenever possible, but full custody is still appropriate in certain situations. If you want to pursue full custody, it’s important to understand what courts look for and whether you are likely to meet the criteria.
How is Custody Decided in Florida?
In Florida, custody decisions are made based on the best interest of the child standard. In order to determine what is in the child’s best interest, the judge will weigh a variety of factors. These factors include which custody arrangement would cause the least amount of disruption to the child’s established life and routine and the ability of each parent to meet the child’s needs. If the child is old enough and mature enough to have an intelligent opinion on the matter, the judge may also choose to consider which parent the child would rather live with. The court will also consider whether the child has extended family, community, or a church, that they would be able to remain connected to by living with one parent over another, and whether one or both parents would be likely to support the child having a relationship with the other parent. This means that speaking negatively about your co-parent or interfering in their relationship with your child can count against you when it comes to awarding custody.
How Can One Parent Get Full Custody in Florida?
Although Florida courts prefer to award joint custody, awarding full custody to one parent is appropriate when it is in the best interest of the child. The most effective way to get full custody is to reach an agreement with your co-parent. If both parents agree that one parent should get full custody, the court will likely order that agreement into effect. However, in the event that you are not able to reach an agreement with your co-parent, you can go to court. In court you will have to demonstrate that it is not in the best interest of your child to have joint custody with both of their parents and that awarding joint custody would actually have a negative effect or cause harm to your child. If the child’s other parent has a history of abusing, neglecting, or abandoning them, these situations can all cause harm to the child and weigh in favor of awarding sole custody to the other parent, provided they can show that they are willing and able to meet the child’s needs. If the other parent has a substance abuse or addiction issue that could put the child in harm’s way or negatively affect them, this also weighs in favor of giving sole custody to the other parent. If there is another situation, such as a parent actively preventing a relationship between their child and the other parent (such as not honoring visitation agreements, blocking phone calls, and/or talking disparagingly about the other parent), this is also something the judge can consider in awarding custody.
Contact Greater Orlando Family Law Today
If you want to make sure that you get the best possible outcome for both you and your child in your custody hearing, it’s important to have experienced representation. Contact the Orlando family lawyers at Greater Orlando Family Law today to schedule a consultation.