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Fort Lauderdale Family Law Blog

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 19

Judges in contested child custody cases consider many factors including the developmental stages and needs of the child and the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to meet the child's developmental needs.  Litigating parents should journal how they meet their child's specific needs.  

Children have different developmental needs depending upon their age. An infant to a 2 year old will generally explore the world through sucking, looking, grasping and pulling. Therefore the developmental needs for an infant include a home environment that is child proof with sensory objects to explore and a parent that is very attentive and loving.

Toddlers to a young children, ages 2 to 7 begin to use language and develop their memory and imagination. These children generally engage in pretend play. A parent of a child at this age should engage their child's creativity by getting down on the floor and playing with their child whether it is pretending to be super heroes, pretending to be a vet or sailing in a pretend boat.

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 18

Judges in child custody cases consider the capacity and disposition of each parent to protect the child from the ongoing litigation as demonstrated by not discussing the litigation with the child, not sharing documents or electronic media related to the litigation with the child, and refraining from disparaging comments about the other parent to the child.

It is natural to be bitter with the other parent during your child custody case, to feel anger, resentment and betrayal. It is often difficult to hold yourself together and especially to keep your child away from the hostility. It appears that too many parents bad mouth the other parent either to the child or to someone else in the presence of the child. Although you may be going through a difficult time, such behavior is harmful to your child. Your child is made up of both you and the other parent and likely loves both of his or her parents. Making such statements in front of your child often places him or her in a loyalty bind that they should choose one parent and also causes unnecessary stress. This is detrimental to a child and studies have shown that these children are more likely to experience anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 17

As one of the many factors for a child custody determination in Florida, judges consider the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to maintain an environment for the child which is free from substance abuse.

As a family law attorney, when necessary I send clients and an occasion their children to obtain drug tests and recommend the local Fort Lauderdale drug testing centers Florida Toxicology, https://www.floridatoxicology.com/ and LabCorp, http://labcorp-locations.com/florida/oakland-park/25111.html. If you have a drug or alcohol problem, there are several Fort Lauderdale rehabilitation programs such as the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Headquarters at Henderson Behavioral Health, https://www.drug-rehab-headquarters.com/florida/facility/henderson-behavioral-health-fort-lauderdale-2/. If your child has a drug or alcohol problem, there are also age appropriate rehabilitation options such as Inspirations for Youth and Families in Fort Lauderdale, https://www.drug-rehab-headquarters.com/florida/facility/henderson-behavioral-health-fort-lauderdale-2/.

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 16

Judges in Florida need to consider the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to participate and be involved in the child's school and extracurricular activities when making a child custody determination.

If your child attends school in Broward County, Florida to become a parent volunteer in your child's classroom, go online to http://browardschools.com/getinvolved/Volunteer-Services and look for the top right button to apply online. The website also includes information pertaining to volunteer opportunities, requirements for security clearances and provides the contact telephone number, 754-321-2300 if you have any questions. The website to become a classroom volunteer if your child attends a Palm Beach County School is https://www.palmbeachschools.org/volunteers/ and the telephone contact numbers listed on the website are 561-434-8789 and 561-434-8771.

There are many private schools such as Pine Crest School (https://www.pinecrest.edu/page/giving/getting-involved) that encourages parent volunteers. If your child attends private school, contact your school to obtain more information to become a parent volunteer.

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 15

Child Custody Factor #15: Judges consider the particular parenting tasks customarily performed by each parent. A parenting task is work conducted by a parent to care for a child which may include changing diapers, feeding a child, helping a child get dressed, brushing a child's hair, bathing a child, cleaning up after a child, putting a child in a car seat, doing laundry, taking a child to the doctor's office, brushing a child's teeth or ensuring that a child brushes his or her own teeth, helping a child with homework, etc.

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 14

Child Custody Factor #14: Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.

There are divorce cases where one parent desires to remove the other parent from the household while they are going through the divorce process. Since both parents have a right to continue residing in their mutual household, some parents file a petition for an injunction for domestic violence with false information. 

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 14

Child Custody Factor #14: Evidence that either parent has knowingly provided false information to the court regarding any prior or pending action regarding domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.

There are divorce cases where one parent desires to remove the other parent from the household while they are going through the divorce process. Since both parents have a right to continue residing in their mutual household, some parents file a petition for an injunction for domestic violence with false information. 

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 13

Child Custody Factor #13. Divorce and paternity judges consider the demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front of all major issues when dealing with the child when making a child custody determination.

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 12

This 20 part series tracks what Judges are required to consider when making child custody and parenting plan determinations to help parents focus on what is relevant to the Judge to effectively present their divorce, paternity or modification case.

Child Custody Factor #12. The demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime. 

Factors Judges Consider for Child Custody Determinations Part 11

Child Custody Factor #11: Evidence of domestic violence, sexual violence, child abuse, child abandonment, or child neglect.

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