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Deciding whether child custody matters should be litigated

A columnist asks if custody battles are worth fighting.  Though so-called experts claim to have the answers, we still must remember that every child custody battle revolves around its own set of circumstances.

Child custody battles can be costly.  And there is always the possibility that the court will be influenced by factors that seem unrelated to what is in the best interest of the child.  Still, it's worth speaking to a family law attorney as to the chances of success before making agreements with the former spouse that may forever affect how your child is to be raised.

The perception of the columnist is that the richer parent always wins. However, if that truly was the case, most attorneys that practice in the area of family law would get out of the business.

In Florida, the focus has changed from allowing judges to make most of the decisions concerning child custody to more and more decisions being made by the parents. Now there is more emphasis on time-sharing agreements and parenting plans than there ever was before.

There are also many options that can be pursued in child custody matters in Florida, and no parent should be deprived of the ability to work these issues out because they feel they cannot afford to go through lengthy proceedings. There are times when a custody battle can assure that all of a child's needs are met. There are other circumstances where the conduct of one or both parents in a prolonged custody proceeding ultimately results in the child being harmed.

Source: Huffington Post, "Custody Battles: Are they Worth the Fight?" by Pauline Gaines, May 7, 2013

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