Florida law places a strong emphasis on shared parental responsibility in divorce cases, emphasizing the best interests of children.
When getting a divorce in Florida, parents who still have minor children living at home know that they may face the prospect of losing some time with their children. No longer can both parents live with their children every day so moms, dads and kids alike will have to adjust to a new way of remaining connected. How can that happen? How much time with kids be able to have with each parent? What is best for children in these situations?
What does research show?
Over the years, there has been much research conducted about the impact on kids of different parenting arrangements after a divorce. Just last year, the results of a study were released by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health that support the growing trend toward shared parenting agreements.
Researchers indicate that the study gave credence to the importance of both parents being regularly involved in their kids’ lives. Even without living under the same roof on a daily basis, parents can still play a daily role in the upbringing of children. This may include phone calls, texts or video chats as well as logistical support like picking up a child from school.
The recommendation is based upon a study that looked at the health of nearly 150,000 kids in different domestic situations. It compared the same psychosomatic factors among kids who live with only one parent, kids who live with both parents in separate homes, and kids who live with both parents in one home. Those children with only one parent fared noticeably worse than did their counterparts in either of the other two living situations.
How does Florida approach parenting responsibility?
The Florida legislature makes it clear that the state has a definite preference for awarding shared parenting in divorce cases. The exception to this preference is when such an agreement would not be in the child’s best interests. For example, if one parent had been convicted of a serious domestic violence offense, shared parenting may not be awarded.
What things are dictated by a parenting plan?
A parenting plan in Florida can be very detailed. It will generally outline how tasks that support children’s daily lives are to be parceled out between the parents and create a schedule of when kids will be with each parent. The responsibility for major decisions, like those related to education and medical matters, will also be identified. A parenting plan can even go so far as to indicate which parent’s residence will determine school district boundaries.
Can a parenting plan be modified?
Parenting plans can be modified but this only happens in unique situations. The need for an amendment must be clear and based upon some unexpected or otherwise substantial changes.
How can parents get the proper support?
Parenting through and after a divorce can be very challenging at times. People in this situation are encouraged to work with an attorney through the divorce process. This can help them to feel more assured that all decisions are being properly handled.