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Understanding basic child custody in Florida

For parents facing divorce or separation, a basic understanding of how Florida family law courts make child custody decisions can be beneficial. To gain this child custody understanding, there is one very good place to start. That place is with Florida law.

The 2015 Florida Statues explain how family law courts are to make decisions involving parenting and time-sharing. Perhaps the most important language in the statutes is as follows: "The court shall determine all matters relating to parenting and time-sharing of each minor child of the parties in accordance with the best interests of the child." This means that, regardless of the scenes parents paint, the judges are required, by law, to make decisions with the children's interests at the forefront.

Reading further, the previous statement's intent is reinforced. Basically, the statute says that it is Florida's job to ensure children have adequate time with both parents and that it is the responsibility of the parents to share in not only the responsibilities that come with parenting but also the joys. In Florida, the courts always begin with the hope for shared child custody, but no judge in the state will allow a child to remain in a dangerous or otherwise detrimental situation.

If you are a parent facing a divorce or separation, and you live in Florida, you may want to take the first step toward understanding possible outcomes. If so, you can get more information and answers to your specific questions from an attorney who has experience with child custody matters. With the help of a legal professional, you will be able to face family law proceedings with confidence and without fearing the loss of your relationship with your child.