Florida judges are often reluctant to place children under the responsibility of an adult who is prone to abusive behavior. This is because the most significant risk factor for passing family violence from one generation to another is witnessing violence between parents.
Resultantly, if you have been accused of domestic violence in Florida, you may be concerned about how this accusation will affect your custody or visitation rights with your child. Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel has experience defending the rights of Floridians accused of various crimes, including those involving domestic violence, for over 30 years. Mr. Gabriel understands how an arrest or criminal conviction could impact your life.
What Do Florida Judges Take into Consideration When Determining Child Custody?
When making child custody rulings, judges in Florida review many factors to determine what they think will be best for the child. Florida judges may take into consideration the following:
- The child’s relationship with each parent
- How the parents currently divide responsibilities for the child
- Each parent’s parenting abilities
- The child’s current living environment
- The parent’s moral character
- The physical and mental health of each parent
- The child’s community and school
- What the child wants
- How knowledgeable the parent is about the child, including:
- Who their friends, teachers, and medical care providers are
- What activities they participate in
- What their favorite things are
- Each parent’s discipline style
- If the parent can provide daily schedules for meals, bedtime, and homework
- How willing each parent is to communicate with the other parent about issues or activities involving the child
- Whether the parent has any issues with substance abuse
- Any evidence of abuse, including:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual violence
- Child abuse
- Child abandonment
- Child neglect
How a Domestic Violence Claim Could Affect Your Child Custody in Florida
When determining child custody, Florida judges first presume that both parents should share custody unless there is reason to believe it would be damaging to the child. If a parent has been charged or convicted of domestic violence, the judges may see it as potentially detrimental to the child if they were to give that parent custody.
The State of Florida defines domestic violence as:
“…any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member.”
A parent accused of domestic violence will have the burden of proving to the court that they deserve to share custody with the other parent. Even if the parents were acquitted of domestic violence, the judge would still review any evidence of violence or abuse before deciding how to split custody.
Accused of Domestic Violence? Protect Your Child Custody with a Criminal Defense Attorney
With over 30 years of experience, you can trust Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel to handle your Florida domestic violence case using all the knowledge and skill developed over the span of his career. Mr. Gabriel understands the importance of retaining custody of your child and will work on your behalf to safeguard your custody.
Start with a free consultation today by calling Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at (561) 622-5575. You can also complete an online contact form to learn more.