I Do Not Agree With The Court’s Assessment Of My Child’s Best Interest. What Can I Do?

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When the court develops a child custody arrangement, it strives to create the arrangement that is in the child’s best interest. To determine a child’s best interest, the court considers numerous factors, such as the child’s relationship with each parent and the other members of the parents’ households, the child’s personal and medical needs, the viability of parents’ proposed custody plans, and each parent’s ability to provide for the child on a daily basis.

You might not agree with the arrangement the court deems to be in your child’s best interest. It can be difficult to separate your emotional understanding of a proposed parenting plan from your logical understanding of it – although a plan might objectively be the best arrangement for your child, it can be impossible to see this through your emotions about the divorce and court-imposed rules on your relationship with your child.

Step Back and Try to Understand How the Court Reached its Determination

Talk to your lawyer about the custody ruling. Your lawyer can provide insight and perspective that you might not have considered previously. It is important to remember that custody arrangements are not “wins” and “losses” for parents, but ways to ensure that children maintain consistent, healthy relationships with their parents after the parents divorce.

You Can Appeal the Court’s Ruling on your Child’s Custody

It is possible to appeal the court’s decision about your child’s custody arrangement. Your lawyer can help you determine if this is worthwhile to pursue.

Judges have a significant amount of discretion in child custody cases, but this does not mean that their decisions cannot be challenged. If you feel your child’s parenting plan is inappropriate or that you were not given due process in the plan’s development, you can file a Notice of Appeal within 30 days of its ruling. After doing this, the case is scheduled to be heard in the appellate court, where a three-judge panel examines the case to determine if the initial ruling was made with an inappropriate application of the law. Appellate court is not to create a new order, but to determine if your original order is valid or not. It can reverse the original order, affirm it, or return the case to lower court to be reheard. When a child’s safety is in question, the appellate court can issue a stay to halt the current enforcement of the order.

Work with an Experienced Tampa Child Custody Lawyer

You always have the right to assert your opinion and act in what you feel to be your child’s best interest. Your effort to change your child custody order is more likely to be successful if you work with an experienced Tampa family lawyer. Contact our team at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. today to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We can review your case and help you determine the most productive course of action for your goal.

Resource:

childwelfare.gov/topics/systemwide/laws-policies/statutes/best-interest/

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