You have probably heard before that during child custody cases, courts are focused on the best interest of the child. This is often subjective. After all, even two well-meaning parents may have different opinions on what is best for their child, which is why so many of them end up in court. Knowing some of the factors the court considers might help you to prepare to present your case better.
The level of maturity both parents show plays a role in the courtroom. Florida Bar points out that courts want proof of both parents’ abilities to honor the time-sharing schedule, be reasonable about changes and maintain an ongoing bond with the child. Subsequently, no matter how angry your ex makes you or the lies they bring up in court, it is important to remain calm.
Courts also consider geographic feasibility, especially of school-age children. If one parent lives 10 hours away, for instance, a 50/50 split might not be reasonable. Children would suffer long breaks in school or long commutes. This ties in with the school and community record of both parents as it may affect which parent may provide a safer environment for the child as the primary caretaker when the distance is an issue.
Children need healthy parents and courts tend to agree. They pay attention to not just the physical health of parents but also the mental health state. The moral fitness of both parents may also come into account. This is where some parents prepare to throw curveballs at the other party.
There are a total of 20 factors that courts consider when deciding the best interest of the child. These only scratch the surface but provide a good introduction of what to expect.