Figuring out which parent gets the kids in the event of a divorce in Florida is a complicated question to answer. Traditionally, women were assumed to be the primary attachment figure, however, research has shown that children actually have several primary attachment figures, including the mother, father, grandparents, and even nannies. So who, then, gets the kids?
Legal Custody vs. Physical Custody
Before figuring out who gets the kids, it is important to establish the difference between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves figuring out which parent is responsible for the practical matters of child-rearing, including taking said child to the doctor, taking them to school, and other, similar matters. Conversely, physical custody refers to the parent that a child resides with, physically. While joint custody is the norm in a divorce, schedules can sometimes vary.
The court considers several factors in granting child custody.
Some common factors that courts consider before granting child custody in a divorce include the age and health of the child in question, as well as the relationship to the parent(s). The court will often lessen or end a parent’s time with a child if they notice certain red flags, such as parental abandonment, a parent who has an addiction problem, or evidence of abuse.
Parents do have some input in custody schedules.
Typically, parents can reach a reasonable agreement that the courts will then accept. However, in some cases, the judge orders a custody evaluation in the event that the parents cannot come to an agreement. Of course, in all cases, you should protect your child emotionally from the impact of the divorce, so it is better to come to a reasonable agreement together.
Getting a divorce is complicated for a myriad of reasons, financial, emotional, and otherwise. For this reason, it is important to work out an understanding of what the child needs with your spouse, and come to an understanding of what the courts will expect from the both of you.