Which parent gets custody of a child while divorce proceedings are pending? In general, family law courts will ultimately consider the child’s best interests to determine the custody arrangement during a divorce: joint or sole custody.
If you’re going through a divorce and are concerned about losing full rights to your children, you don’t have to be unprepared. An experienced Altamonte child custody attorney at the Law Office of Russell S. Herschkowitz, LLC can help protect your parental rights.
What Factors Determine Child Custody?
Florida law follows the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). Accordingly, Florida courts presume that children benefit through “frequent and continuing contact” with both parents after their separation. As a result, family law courts will order both parents to share responsibility by default, unless shared responsibility is detrimental to the children. Therefore, the parent who seeks sole custody of a child must prove that joint custody does not serve the child’s best interests.
Factors that a court may evaluate when determining the best interests of the child include:
- A parent’s criminal history;
- A parent’s ability to encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship;
- The division of parental responsibilities after the divorce;
- The amount of time a child has lived in a stable environment;
- The location of both parents’ post-separation residence;
- A parent’s moral character;
- A parent’s mental and physical health;
- The child’s “reasonable preference” for a particular parent;
- A parent’s familiarity with the child’s circumstances (e.g. the child’s friends, teachers, doctors, hobbies, etc.); and
- A parent’s ability to provide a consistent routine for the child.
How to Get Child Custody Pending the Outcome of Your Divorce
Although a court renders a final judgment on child custody at the conclusion of trial, a parent seeking sole custody during litigation may file an emergency order for custody. An emergency order for custody may be filed before the court makes a final judgment on the divorce. A court may grant an emergency order without notice to the opposing party if there is an “immediate and present danger” that the emergency situation will occur before both parties can be heard.
Effective Child Custody Representation Backed by Over 25 Years of Legal Experience
Child custody decisions often involve intense litigation. With over 25 years of legal experience and decades of membership with the Florida Bar Association’s Family Law Section, our accomplished Altamonte Springs family law attorney can help secure your children’s best interests.
For more information on child custody issues in a divorce, please contact the Law Office of Russell S. Hershkowitz, LLC at (407) 753-4111 today!