child custody and parenting plans Archives

An overview of child custody proceedings

Florida parents who are going to court for child custody should prepare as thoroughly as possible. This may include bringing a babysitter or teacher who can testify to an individual's ability to be a good parent. It is also a good idea to think through potential questions that a judge may ask and have answers to those questions ready ahead of time.

Dealing with the challenges of co-parenting after divorce

For anyone in Florida ending a marriage that produced children, the process isn't over once a divorce becomes final. Co-parenting arrangements will need to be made between the parties who play a role in raising a child. Legally, co-parents can be parents or legal guardians responsible for a child's care. Oftentimes, these parties are the two individuals who divorced. While every situation is different, there are some ways to make the process smoother for everyone involved.

Parenting schedules add stability to children's lives

When parents in Florida decide to divorce or end their romantic relationship, both may be committed to ensuring that it does not also mean the end of their relationship with the children. Coming up with a custody agreement can be challenging but also important for developing a stable environment for children after their parents decide to separate. A parenting schedule can lay out logistics and responsibilities for how a child's time will be divided between his or her parents. By working together to create a plan, both parents can show their children that they are committed to putting the kids' interests first.

Flexible child custody arrangements

Some Florida divorced might think about arrangements for child custody and visitation in terms of the traditional schedule in which the custodial parent has the child most of the time and the noncustodial parent gets the child every alternate weekend, usually from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sunday. However, this schedule can be tweaked or restructured entirely to better suit the needs of both parent and child.

Shared custody is trending upward

Divorcing Florida parents should know the days of a father automatically being relegated to every-other-weekend parenting are no more. All across the nation, legislators and judges are pushing a trend toward shared parenting. Fully integrating each parent into the lives of children has shown to benefit child development along with easing the pain of parents who would have been forced to spend more time separated from children under previous standards.

Seeking full custody of the children

When Florida parents are heading toward divorce, the situation can become difficult for everyone involved. Even if the parents do not want to be together anymore, it is usually beneficial for both parents to play an active role in their children's lives. However, there are cases where one parent may wish to seek full custody of the children, especially if the other parent is abusive, neglectful or otherwise incapable of caring for the children on his or her own.

Common child custody myths

When divorcing parents head to court to determine who will get custody of the children, Florida judges usually make decisions using a standard called "the best interest of the child". Essentially, courts generally determine what will give the children the most stability and help protect them from conflict or abuse. However, this standard is vague, allowing the decisions to be susceptible to the judges' biases.

Parents learn about their child custody options

When it comes to resolving child custody matters, divorcing Florida parents can generally come to any agreement that works for them. However, exceptions may be made if a parent is deemed unfit to have physical or legal custody of a son or daughter. Typically, parents will have joint custody or equitable parental rights. It is important to note that equal does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split.

How shared parenting is changing child custody

In 2016, the Florida legislature voted in favor of a bill that would make shared parenting the default in child custody cases. However, the governor vetoed the bill. A number of states are moving toward encouraging shared parenting although legislating it remains somewhat controversial. 

How to spot and prevent parental alienation

Parents in Florida and elsewhere are ideally looking out for the best interest of their children after a divorce. However, there are times when they try to use their children to punish their former spouses. In some cases of parental alienation, the manipulating parent will convince the child that he or she is the one responsible for acting out against the other parent.

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