If you are going through a divorce, the end of your marriage may consume virtually all of your thoughts. The same is probably true for your children. After all, during divorce, kids tend to experience anger, depression and sadness. They may also struggle to perform academically.
Even if you and your spouse cannot agree on every divorce-related matter, creating and agreeing to a time-sharing agreement is an important step. However, if you are unable to come to an agreement, a judge must consider what time-sharing arrangement is in your children’s best interests.
The appropriate legal standard
Like in many other states, judges in Florida have a legal obligation to evaluate the best interests of the children when making custody-related decisions. In Florida, judges consider 18 separate factors, including, among others, the fitness of each parent and the needs of the kids. They may also consider any other relevant information that may affect what is best for your children.
An ongoing obligation
Children must receive the care they need to thrive. Consequently, the best interests of the child standard continues to apply until each child becomes an adult. If an existing time-sharing agreement or parenting plan is no longer good or appropriate for the kids, a judge may use the best interest of the child standard to make a time-sharing modification or take other appropriate steps to protect your children.
Ultimately, because the best interests of the child standard may influence whether you receive the time-sharing arrangement you desire, you may want to document your parenting abilities according to each of the relevant factors considered.