Best Interest of the Children Standard


Florida Family Statutes designed to favor the best interest of the child, including shared parental responsibility.

When Florida family Courts establish or modify a parental responsibility or a time-sharing schedule, courts consider a number of best interest of the child factors.

Florida public policy is to encourage each parent to share parental responsibility and time-sharing.

In some cases, it is possible to reach an agreement on time-sharing and parental responsibility (generally called 'Uncontested' case). Whether the time-sharing schedule and parental responsibility is agreed to by the parties, or Court ordered, a Parenting Plan is the document which governs the relationship between the parties relating to decisions that must be made regarding the Minor Child, and a time-sharing schedule.
Family law attorney Christophe Fiori works closely with clients to achieve the best possible results when obtaining a court ordered parenting plan.  Call for a free consultation (888) 384-2872.

Best Interest of the Children

Factors considered by a family law judge who decides the issue of shared parental responsibility and primary residence in your case is: "what is in the best interest of the child or children."

 With more fathers obtaining custody of their children and with the law which presumes that fathers and mothers should be appointed shared parental responsibility, the Florida Family Courts are faced with an increase in custody litigation.

Florida family law also requires that the court establish a parenting plan if you and your spouse are unable to agree on a Parenting Plan.  While developing your parenting plan, remember that your primary consideration should be the best interest of the child or children

Best Interest Factors Considered by Family Courts

When establishing a parenting plan and time-sharing schedule in Florida, family courts will consider all factors affecting the welfare and interests of the children, including but not limited to:

  1. The parent who is more likely to allow the child frequent and continuing contact with the non-custodial parent.
  2. The love, affection, and other emotional ties existing between the parents and the child.
  3. The capacity and disposition of the parents to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs.
  4. The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity.
  5. The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home.
  6. The moral fitness of the parents.
  7. The mental and physical health of the parents.
  8. The home, school, and community record of the child.
  9. The reasonable preference of the child as to custody, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient intelligence, understanding, and experience to express a preference.
  10. The willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuous parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent.
  11. Evidence that any party has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding a domestic violence proceeding.
  12. Evidence of domestic violence or child abuse.
  13. Any other fact not specifically expressed in these laws that the court considers to be relevant.