Last week’s article described the best interest of the child standard (Florida Statute §61.13(3)) and gave a definition bank for terminology that is used in paternity actions or divorce proceedings where children are involved. This week’s article will discuss how judges apply the best interest factors to cases and how you can avoid common pitfalls as you navigate your way through a custody proceeding.
When determining a timesharing schedule, judges compare each relevant factor in the best interest standard to the case in front of them. A common pitfall that many parents fall into is involving their children in the court proceeding- either by telling the kids what happened in court or badmouthing the other parent. Make sure to avoid this discussion with your children. Although a small comment may seem innocuous, a judge must consider everything when determining a time sharing schedule.
Will you lose your children? It is unlikely. The ultimate decision is in the hands of the judge who is presiding over your case. It is helpful to know the factors that the judge will use in determining a timesharing schedule which will govern the time you get to spend with your child or children. To ensure that you will be able to spend the most time with your children as possible, be sure to retain the services of a highly qualified family law attorney to help you and your family through this process.