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Managing divorce with children in Florida

There are many disagreements that can lead a couple to divorce. With nearly half of marriages in the state of Florida ending in separation or divorce, it seems clear there are enough reasons for people to decide they are better off alone. But the largest disagreements among ex-spouses who are also parents involve the children.

The primary home of a child of divorce is a key issue in the lives of parents and children alike, as it provides the basis for a stable childhood focused on growing and learning. Other issues include the amount of influence that a parent can have in a child's social, educational and spiritual upbringing.

Parents may avoid a great deal of work and disagreement if they can resolve primary residency and share parenting rights and responsibilities on their own. However, even a simple process could be simplified when parents consult a legal representative.

Shared responsibilities can be detailed in a document known as a "parenting plan," which sets out the expectations for each party, much like a legal contract. If parents cannot resolve their differences on where their child lives or how he or she is raised, a family court judge may resolve problems by issuing a ruling.

Florida family courts, as well as family courts located elsewhere around the nation, are by design focused on promoting and maintaining the well-being of the child. As such, children of a certain age may be consulted as to their preferences. However, a family court judge may issue a different ruling if he or she feels it is in the best interests of the kids.

Source: FindLaw, "Florida Child Custody: Procedure," accessed Nov. 7, 2017

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