When a married couple who shares a child files for divorce, who the child will live with must be determined. However, Florida courts don’t take this decision lightly and spend time going over the various factors that go into making a custody determination. This often takes months or more; in the meantime, the child must live with one of the parents. A court typically awards what is called temporary custody, which is considered a short-lived solution to the issue. Here are the key things to know about temporary custody, how it’s awarded, and if it can become permanent.
What Is Temporary Child Custody?
Temporary child custody refers to the court order that is issued at the beginning of a divorce to place the child with a parent temporarily while the court reviews the details of the custody case. This provides the child with stable living conditions during the divorce until a permanent custody order can be issued. A guardian ad litem, or a lawyer who represents only the child’s best interests, may also be appointed at this time.
How Is Temporary Custody Awarded in Florida?
Because temporary custody typically must be decided quickly, courts usually consider the most basic — and important — factors first. This includes:
- Which parent usually cares for the child
- Which parent the child prefers to live with if old enough to decide
- If either parent has a history of addiction or abuse
- Where each parent lives
- How much each parent makes
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- How close the child is emotional with each parent
Can Temporary Custody Become Permanent?
If the temporary living situation becomes stable for the child and disrupting it would be detrimental to their overall emotional health and wellbeing, a court may elect to make the temporary order permanent. On the other hand, a court may also decide to award the other parent custody if the current living situation is deemed to be harmful to the child.
When You Should Call a Florida Family Law & Child Custody Attorney
If you’re dealing with matters of child custody, it’s important that you have adequate legal support. Your child’s best interests are at the heart of the issue here, and it’s difficult to protect them without the help of an experienced family lawyer. To learn more about temporary custody or to book a consultation to discuss your child custody case, contact Tampa Family & Divorce Lawyer Mindi Lasley at (813) 873-9047.