Florida parents who are getting a divorce and who are engaged in a child custody dispute might need to turn to litigation if they cannot resolve it in negotiations. Avoiding a child custody battle is the best course of action, but if this is not possible, parents can also use strategies in court that may increase the likelihood that they will be awarded custody. Parents should familiarize themselves with custody laws and may want to consult an attorney.
A willingness to cooperate with the other parent may make the judge look more favorably upon a person. It is also a good idea to dress appropriately and to be respectful during the custody hearing. A judge is trying to make a decision about who will be the best parent based on the best interests of the child. If parents can provide documents that support their side, they should do so.
Once the judge makes a decision, the other parent may still have ample visitation time. Estranged couples can create a parenting agreement together that will help them manage their expectations.
One factor that the judge might take into account is which parent has been the main caregiver and spends the most time with the child. This means that a parent who takes the child to most medical appointments, makes most of the child's meals and takes the child to school each day might be more likely to get custody. A less-involved parent who also wants custody may want to increase their time with the child.