What Evidence Can I Use to Satisfy the Best Interests of the Child Standard?
When making decisions about child custody, Florida courts are required to evaluate what kind of arrangement would be in a child’s best interests. Fortunately, there are a number of factors, contained in Florida’s statutes, that provide guidance on what kinds of things a court will take into consideration when making these important determinations. Having a thorough understanding of these factors is critical for parents who are engaged in custody disputes, which includes familiarity with the types of evidence that can be used to support a case. To learn more, please reach out to our experienced Fort Lauderdale child custody attorneys today.
Best Interests of the Child Standard
The best interests of the child standard provides direction to courts when it comes to helping foster an environment that meets a specific minor child’s needs. These factors include:
- How parental responsibilities will be divided after the conclusion of litigation;
- How long the child has lived in a stable environment and whether maintaining continuity is particularly desirable;
- The geographic viability of the parenting plan;
- The child’s home, school, and community record; and
- The child’s developmental needs.
These are only a few of the factors that courts assess when making child custody determinations, so if you have questions about the entirety of these factors and how they could apply in your own case, please call our office today to learn more.
When presenting a parenting plan to the court, parents will need to provide evidence demonstrating that these factors are satisfied. In most cases, this evidence takes the form of:
- Witness testimony from friends, family members, teachers, and even the child;
- School records;
- Medical records;
- Testimony from child psychologists and other experts;
- Copies of text messages and social media posts related to a parent’s willingness to foster a healthy relationship with the child’s other parent;
- Phone records;
- Any police records related to allegations of domestic violence;
- Proof of employment and income; and
- Proof of a stable living environment.
The exact evidence used in a specific case will vary depending on the situation. It may be necessary, for instance, to obtain testimony from a child’s teacher or doctor who can testify as to a parent’s involvement in a child’s life as evidenced by his or her presence at an appointment, parent teacher conference, or playdate. Evidence of a child’s specific medical needs or developmental issues is also critical when attempting to establish a parenting plan that will best address those needs. Of course, if there is a history of violence between the parents or accusations of child abuse or neglect, the parties will need to provide the court with certified records of those incidents.
An Experienced Florida Child Custody Lawyer
To learn more about the types of evidence you will need to give your parenting plan proposal the best possible chance of success, please reach out to dedicated Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. You can set up a free consultation at any time by calling our office at 954-945-7591 or by sending us an online message.