Anne Sanborn August 15, 2021 Parenting
When two people divorce and wish to lead separate lives, it becomes much more complicated when children are involved. Divorcing parents should have the same goal-to be as involved in their children`s lives as possible and to provide them with stable, effective parenting. Joint custody is one way to achieve that goal, but can it work for your family?
Under Florida law, biological parents have first priority in child custody issues. Only under exceptional circumstances does the court ordinarily grant visitation or custody rights to step-parents. If the child`s primary caregiver believes that maintaining contact with the step-parent is in the child`s best interests, it is possible for the step-parent to have formal visitation rights. If the court believes this might infringe on the rights of the other parent, however, the step-parent may be excluded.
For many divorcing parents, a family court will recommend mediation services to work out issues concerning a parenting plan and visitation schedule. In some states, mediation is mandatory. Whether private mediation or through the court, mediation is an excellent way for you and the other parent to work together to create a parenting plan for your children.
The parents should also consider the nature and temperament of their children. If a child is very close to one parent and wants to live with that parent, the child may need to move with that parent. Sometimes that is for the best. Depending on the age of the children, the parents can get input about what the children would like to happen. They can set up different arrangements for each of their children if that is necessary. The parents should listen to their children, but in the end they should act in the best way they see fit.
If parents decide to separate and the mother or father moves out the house, the parents need to figure out the child custody situation during this time. Because the time of separation is uncertain and the parents usually do not know how it will end, the mother and father should come up with a parenting agreement for temporary custody. Temporary child custody refers to the time period when the parents are waiting to find out if or when they will need a permanent parenting agreement.
The parenting agreement is the document that outlines how parents will continue to care for their children after they divorce or separate. The agreement contains a custody and visitation schedule, a holiday schedule, provisions and stipulations, and information about child support. As parents begin the process of making a parenting agreement, they usually have a lot of questions about how the agreement affects the child support payments. Here is an overview about the parenting agreement and support.
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