Tanya Worthy April 15, 2021 Parenting
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.
Your original parenting plan most likely won`t fit your family`s needs forever, so you and the other parent must negotiate changes. You owe it to your children to work together to provide the best possible environments for your children through open communication. In order to negotiate effectively, you must have a certain level of trust and commitment established so you can agree on the best way to parent your children and to revise the parenting plan as your family changes and grows. Even though you are no longer together, you will always be partners when it comes to providing a supportive and caring life 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.
The family court wants to see an arrangement that represents the best interests of the children. Ideally, both parents will work together to be involved in their children`s lives and will set up a reasonable arrangement that does not disrupt their environment too much.
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