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Consistent coparenting after divorce

After Florida parents divorce and their children are moving back and forth between their homes, they may find that their household rules are inconsistent. This can be damaging for children who need stability and consistency at this time. Parents should sit down with a focus on the children to work out how they will make these rules consistent. If children are 6 or older, they may be able to participate in the process as well. These negotiations may go more smoothly if parents decide ahead of time which points they can compromise on and which ones they cannot.

Parents who are struggling to compromise may be able to get outside help. A mediator is a disinterested third party who can work with parents to reach an agreement. Another option may be parenting classes. Attorneys, therapists and family law courts may have recommendations for a class. Some classes may be particularly useful if one parent is resisting compromise because the classes will spend time discussing how harmful it is for children when parents' rules are inconsistent. Some classes also discuss parenting norms.

A final option is returning to court, although it may be best if parents exhaust other alternatives first. If they go to court, parents will no longer have input regarding the decision and may be dissatisfied with a judge's ruling.

If the issue is one of child support or custody modifications, it may be necessary to go to court even if parents agree on the change. For example, if there is a legal child support order in place and one parent needs to start paying less support because of a drop in income, that parent cannot simply agree to do so with the other parent. It will be necessary to ask for a child support modification through the court.

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