There are many important areas of family law. Depending on one’s specific set of circumstances, certain family law issues may prove to be more pertinent. Those who are concerned about their post-divorce financial health, for example, may find that property division is of the utmost importance to them. On the other hand, in many cases where children are involved, child custody and visitation is usually thrust to the forefront. Those who want to protect the time and relationship they have with their child need to ensure that they know the law and how to use it to their advantage.
The first, and perhaps most foundational, aspect of child custody that one needs to know is that custody and visitation determinations are made based on a child’s best interests. This is a pretty broad phrase and one that can contain many different factors. Amongst them include the child’s preferences, the parents’ physical and mental health, the child’s relationship with others in the home, how a custody arrangement may affect a child’s schooling and social life, as well as any history of domestic violence and substance abuse on the part of the parents.
Since there are so many factors for a court to consider, a parent is left a lot of leeway to make legal arguments that support his or her position. For example, even if one custody arrangement may pull a child out of his or her current school, it may still further the child’s best interest if it protects him from a home where drug use is common.
By utilizing these factors, Floridians may be able to reach custody and visitation agreements without the need for going to court. In some instances, though, no resolution can be made and the matter must be litigated. Regardless of which path a case finds its way walking, the assistance of a skilled family law attorney can prove extremely beneficial when trying to persuade a judge.