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Child Custody Archives

Healthy co-parenting for divorced parents

Florida parents are often so committed to their children's best interests and emotional well-being that they put off divorce for a long time, hoping to stay together for the kids. However, putting the children first doesn't mean staying in a marriage that isn't working. Developing a positive co-parenting relationship can help children thrive and feel supported after their parents' divorce with two loving homes that welcome them.

Both parents must commit to raising a child after a divorce

For parents in Florida and throughout the country, the key to raising a child after a divorce is for parents to communicate well and respect the other person in the child's life. Parents should also respect the fact that the child needs both parents in his or her life.

Creating a parenting schedule that works for everyone

Florida parents who are getting a divorce need to create a parenting schedule that outlines when the child will stay with each parent. By doing this in a way that prioritizes the child's needs, parents can indicate to their children that they care what happens to them.

How gender dynamics increase the likelihood of divorce

Compared to previous generations, Florida couples getting married in the 21st century are more likely to face future family law issues, such as child custody, visitation, parenting plans and time-sharing schedules. Gender dynamics and socioeconomic trends are shaping family life, and they are creating shifts in traditional gender roles. As a result, divorce is a more likely occurrence in modern families.

Visitation schedules can be whatever suits the family

As a general rule, both parents are allowed to have contact with their children after a divorce. However, parents in Florida and throughout the country may have trouble deciding on a visitation schedule that works for both parents and the children. Most often, the noncustodial parent is granted visitation every other weekend. In most cases, the weekend visit starts on Friday night and ends on Sunday night. That can be extended to Monday morning if it is more convenient for all involved.

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.

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