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Child Custody Archives

Working out a parenting plan

Shared parenting or joint custody is one option for Florida parents who are getting a divorce. A judge may take a number of factors into consideration in deciding whether to grant shared parenting. For example, if the parents live too far apart, such an arrangement might not be in the best interests of the child. Other reasons might be because of concerns about neglect, abuse or the possibility of parental kidnapping.

Custodial interference can be damaging to children

For parents in Florida, it can seem like one of their worst nightmares if their ex-spouses attempt to prevent them from seeing or spending time with their children. They may wonder what they can do about the problems they are facing due to their former partners denying them access to the children. Custodial interference is a term used to describe attempts by one parent to block or interfere with the custodial time of the other parent. It can be deeply damaging to the parent-child bond as well as the psychological health of the children in the long term. This behavior is not a matter of a failure to agree on a specific time or a scheduling problem but rather is a serious effort to undermine the relationship.

Shared parenting approaches on the rise

While the governor of Florida vetoed a bill the legislature passed in 2016 mandating shared custody as the default in child custody agreements, shared parenting is still on the rise. Other states are considering similar bills, and a meta-analysis found that across 15 studies, children benefit physically, emotionally and behaviorally from shared custody.

Same-sex divorce and parental rights

Same-sex Florida couples who are getting a divorce might run into issues surrounding child custody. Problems may arise if either person is not legally considered the child's legal parent. In Mississippi, the state Supreme Court is making a decision on a case in which a woman is requesting parental rights for the child borne by her ex-wife.

Why moms should push for shared parenting

Many Florida mothers consider obtaining sole custody of children to be a primary goal in a divorce. Generally, the courts strongly favor mothers when it comes to awarding custody. However, modern research shows that mothers may want to reconsider their fights for sole custody and think about the advantages of a shared parenting arrangement.

Testing for paternity

If Florida parents are unmarried when a child is born, the father might not be on the birth certificate. It might be necessary to have a DNA test to prove paternity if the father does not voluntarily acknowledge it or if it is unclear.

Shared parenting after a divorce

Although many Florida parents who divorce end up in an arrangement where one parent has primary physical custody and the other gets some form of visitation, parents' rights advocates say that pursuing shared parenting may lead to better outcomes. According to a study conducted with 150,000 subjects and later published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, shared parenting has the most beneficial impact on children's health due to the reduced stress it places on kids.

Nesting as a possible shared custody arrangement

Florida parents who are considering a divorce may be considering how to manage their parental responsibilities after ending their marriage. Shared physical custody is one way for both parents to balance their time with their children. Nonetheless, nesting is an option that takes this a step further.

Factors that may warrant a child custody modification

In Florida and around the country, the health and safety of children is a top priority. When a couple with children divorces, they may either come to a custody and visitation agreement on their own or ask a court to order one. However, it may be necessary to ask for a modification to an existing order under certain circumstances. For instance, if a parent ignores the terms of a custody agreement, it may be possible for the custodial parent to ask to change it.

Tips for working together to create a parenting plan

Working together to create a parenting plan can be difficult, especially when emotions are running high due to a divorce. But if you can collaborate, not only will you save money and time, you also may preserve your co-parenting relationship. You may not be husband and wife any longer, but you will still be parents for a very long time. Graduations, birthdays and other celebrations will likely be celebrated together.

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