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Deland Child Custody Lawyer Serving Volusia County

Many parents in Deland will find themselves facing a child custody dispute at some point while raising their children. Unfortunately, child custody disputes often result in parents feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, angry, and possibly even scared when they are forced to fight for what they feel is best for their child. Child custody cases can also have a negative impact on the children involved, who are often caught between two parents with very different views. At My Florida Family Attorney, Adams & Luka, P.A., our child custody attorneys in Deland understand how difficult this time can be for both you and your children, and will help you through every step of the way to make the process as easy and stress-free as possible.

What Should I Expect in A Child Custody Case in Deland?

Deland parents will usually become involved in a dispute over child custody in one of two ways: they are married to the child’s other parent and going through a divorce, or they never married the other parent of their child and one or both parents are seeking a court-ordered custody arrangement. Regardless of how the custody dispute arose, child custody will be determined by the court in Deland in the same manner. Our Deland child custody attorneys face many of the same questions from the parents we represent, including whether they can receive full custody, how much their child’s wishes will matter, what the other parent’s rights are, and what the court will take into consideration when deciding a child custody dispute. It is important to know that all child custody cases begin with the same presumption, that it is in the best interest of every child to have an ongoing parent-child relationship with both parents, and for each parent to share equally in the responsibilities and joys of caring for them. For some families, this presumption works well and both parents are able to agree to share responsibilities and time spent with the child equally. For other families, this presumption is not in the best interest of the child. In those cases, it can be difficult for the parent to show the court why equal time-sharing and shared parental responsibility is not what is best for their child. Parents in either situation can benefit from hiring an experienced child custody attorney in Deland to fight to preserve their rights and make sure their child receives what is best for them.

Will A Mother Get Preference Over A Father for Custody in Deland?

Before modern changes to family laws, mothers were preferred to fathers when it came to custody disputes. The courts made decisions based on the presumption that it was in the best interest for mothers to have full custody while fathers received only visitation. This is no longer the case. Now, the court will not give preference to either parent based on gender. Instead, the court will consider the best interest of the child above all else when deciding a custody dispute. A knowledgeable and skilled child custody attorney will help you fight for your children, whether you are a mother or a father, to make sure you are presenting the strongest argument based on your child’s best interests.

What Will The Court Consider When Deciding Child Custody?

Being in the position where a judge will be the one to decide some of the most important things in your life, like where your child will live, go to school, and spend their holidays, can seem almost unimaginable for most of the parents we represent in Deland. Fortunately, having an understanding of what the court will take into consideration when deciding these issues for your family, or even more importantly, exploring negotiations and settlement options before you ever see the judge, can give you more control and ease some of your concerns.

There are several factors laid out in Florida statutes for the court to consider when deciding child custody matters. The deciding factor will always be the best interest of the children. When determining the best interest of the child, the court in Deland will consider:

  • Each parent’s ability to foster an ongoing parent-child relationship
  • Each parent’s ability and willingness to comply with a court-ordered time-sharing schedule and be reasonable when changes are necessary
  • The way parental responsibilities will be divided based on the time-sharing schedule
  • Each parent’s ability to consider the child’s needs and not just their own desires
  • The length of time the child has resided in a stable environment and the benefit of maintaining that environment
  • Each parent’s moral fitness
  • The child’s reasonable preferences, if the child is of the age, maturity, and intelligence to express a preference
  • The manner in which parenting tasks and responsibilities were divided both before and while the court case was pending
  • Any substance abuse by the parents
  • Any violence, child abuse, or child neglect engaged in by either parent
  • The impact of each parent’s mental and physical health on their ability to care for the child
  • Any other factor the court finds relevant

It is important to note that when considering these factors, the court will look at the circumstances both before and while the court case is pending. The court will look at each parent’s actions and behaviors, not just promises on what they plan to do in the future. While the court is aware of the difficulties often associated with co-parenting, the court will not look favorably upon a parent that is unable to cooperate with the other parent, makes disparaging comments about the other parent in front of the child, inappropriately questions the child about the other parent, or inappropriately discusses or otherwise involves the child in the court proceedings. A child custody attorney dedicated to your case can help you work through challenging times with the other parent with the least amount of conflict as possible, and should the other parent engage in behaviors that have a negative impact on your child, your attorney can bring this to the court’s attention on your behalf.

Contact Us Now for Your Free Consultation

Here at My Florida Family Attorney, Adams & Luka, P.A., our child custody attorneys in Deland are here for you every step of the way. We understand the full significance of everything that is on the line in a child custody case for both you and your children. Our attorneys will fight for you throughout the process from the very beginning to get you the best results possible. Contact us now for your free consultation at 407-872-0303 or 352-357-4084.