We at the law office of Michael E. Golub in Florida understand that you want nothing more than what is best for your child, even as you and your spouse prepare to divorce. You should know that you are not the only ones who want this. The court has a responsibility to seek the child's best interest in every decision that it makes. It is one of the foremost guiding principles in family law.
However, while everyone involved wants what is in the child's best interest, it can be difficult to determine what it may be. As loving and concerned as you and your spouse no doubt are in regard to your child, it can be difficult for each of you to regard the matter without self-interest. The court has the ability to assess the case as a disinterested party and render an objective decision.
While every case is different and extenuating circumstances may apply, the court typically determines the best interest of a child by considering a number of different factors, which include the following:
- Each parents' physical and mental health, as well as moral fitness
- The willingness of parents to cooperate reasonably and fairly with one another
- The willingness and capacity of each parent to foster a parent-child relationship that is both close and continuing
- The anticipated division of parental responsibilities
If the child possesses sufficient intelligence and has attained necessary maturity to express reasonable preferences, the court will take those into consideration as well.
In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the law presumes that close contact with both parents is in the child's best interest. For this reason, Florida courts tend to favor shared custody between both parents over other arrangements. More information is available on our website.