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Understanding Florida’s Child Custody Laws

When going through a custody dispute in Florida, you will want to do everything you can to ensure you get the best results for you and your children. The first thing to do to accomplish this goal is to make sure you understand the laws that apply in these types of cases. This blog post offers an introduction to Florida’s child custody laws, and how they may apply to your case. 

Child’s Best Interest 

When going through Miami family court, the first thing to keep in mind is that the laws are written with the goal of providing for the best interests of children. This is covered in section 61.13(3), which outlines a number of considerations that the courts are to look at when attempting to make decisions. Some of the key areas they look at when determining the children’s best interest include: 

  • Fostering Positive Parental Relationships – The court will want to encourage a positive relationship with both parents. If one of the parents appears to support this more than the other, they are more likely to get primary physical custody. 
  • Putting Kids First – The court will also try to determine which parent will put the needs of the children first now, and throughout their childhood.
  • Stability – If the child has lived in a specific environment for an extended period of time, the courts will likely favor maintaining that living arrangement. 

While these factors, and a variety of others, will be taken seriously by the courts, that doesn’t mean they can’t be overcome. Even if one or more of the above items doesn’t favor your wishes, you can still make a strong argument for why an adjustment will actually be better for the children. 

Creating an Effective Parenting Plan

As long as there is no abuse or neglect, the court will almost certainly make decisions that will help to ensure both parents are able to maintain a strong relationship with the children. Section 1.13(2)(b)1 states that, “It is the public policy of this state to assure that each minor child has frequent and continuing contact with both parents after the parents separate or divorce…”

Both Parents get Equal Consideration

One more key point to be aware of is that both the father and the mother will be given equal consideration in all matters when it comes to child custody. This means that despite what many people believe, the court is not supposed to favor the mother over the father when determining custody. As an equal consideration state, the parents will be treated equally, with the court’s only goal being the wellbeing of the children. 

Taking Your Case Seriously

Whether you are going through a child custody case for the first time, or you’re looking to have an existing order modified, it is an extremely important event in your life. We will give your case the attention and dedication that it deserves. Please contact us to schedule a consultation and get this important process started right away.

Author Bio

Vanessa Vasquez de Lara is the founder and owner of Vasquez de Lara Law Group, a Miami family law firm. With over 20 years of experience in family law, she has zealously represented clients in various legal matters, including divorces, child support, child custody, alimony, and other family law cases.

Vanessa received her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 2002 and is a member of the Florida Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named to the 2015 Super Lawyers Rising Stars and the 2016-2023 Super Lawyers list.

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