Children often go through a lot of emotional and psychological pain and suffering during their parents’ divorce. To lessen this pain and still allow children to remain close to both of their parents, Florida has established and implemented a number of custody and visitation laws in the state.
The Parenting Plan
In the past few years, courts in Florida have dramatically improved their custody laws to change the way parenting issues are dealt with after divorce. Specifically, courts require parents to come up with a Parenting Plan which includes the amount of time the child will spend with each parent throughout the year.
In addition to this, the Plan also divides various responsibilities between the two parents relating to: academics, extracurricular, daily wellbeing, as well as healthcare and communication with the children. All courts take special care when creating and amending this Plan that it should contain the best interests of the children in mind rather than the sole preferences of the parents. This is because many couples who seek divorce may be driven by selfish and vengeful motives. A lot of parents may request 40 percent or more of the time with the children in which case their part of child care support is reduced. This is why the courts carefully scrutinize the whole case to ensure that the parents don’t benefit at the expense of their kids.
Dividing the time between parents
In previous years, courts in Florida used to give preference to mothers of the children when determining the custody or the total amount of time spent with the children. However, that has been gotten rid of and instead the court looks at a number of other factors when deciding how much time the children get to spend with each parent. Some of these factors include:
Given a changing future scenario of both parents, it is quite possible for the custody and visitation arrangements to modify. Examples of situations that may warrant such legal changes include one of the parents remarrying and moving to live with their new spouse. Sometimes when children grow older, their relationship with their custodial parent also changes for the worse. A child getting involved in trouble at school, drinking or drugs may also warrant changes in the custody and visitation arrangement agreed upon by both parents. In all such cases, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to attain necessary modification or prevent an unnecessary one.
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