When parents in Florida get divorced, each person may want primary custody of the children. A judge will look at a number of different elements to decide which parent the child will live with most of the time.
One of the primary factors that the courts consider is stability. A judge may be more inclined to decide that the children will stay with the parent who remains in the family home in order to prevent a traumatic disruption to their lives. However, a court will look at other issues related to a parent's stability, such as how often he or she has changed jobs. Courts try to keep siblings together in the same home and will generally only separate them in unusual circumstances.
In particularly difficult custody cases, a judge may send an advocate appointed by a family court to the home. Advocates observe the parent-child relationship and report their findings back to the judge. Judges will also consider allegations of emotional as well as physical abuse.
In some cases, parents might be able to negotiate a joint custody agreement themselves. This allows each parent to spend plenty of time with the children.
Parents who are considering divorce might want to talk to an attorney at a Venice, Florida, child custody law firm. Lawyers may be able to assist parents in child custody negotiations. Even when there is conflict between ex-spouses, they might be able to set this aside to work on a functional co-parenting relationship, which may also be in the best interest of the children. By working together on a custody agreement, parents may be able to reach a solution that best suits their family. If they cannot reach an agreement, parents can work with attorneys to create a strategy for going to court. In cases where there has been abuse or neglect, a parent may be restricted to supervised visitation or have no access at all.