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Who is Responsible for Raising the Children in a Simple Divorce Florida?

“Best Interests of the Children” is all you need to know about how you should deal with all child related issues including, but not limited to, “custody” and visitation issues. The concept of “custody” does not exist in Florida divorce cases any longer.  Instead, we talk in terms of parenting plans and time sharing.  That said, a Florida child custody lawyer understand exactly what you are talking about if you use the term.  The Florida divorce judge assigned to your case cares about that issue above all else.

In theory, both parents should share in making major decisions that impact the children: health, education, and religion being the most significant.  Unless there is some compelling reason why one parent shouldn’t be involved in these decisions, you will have shared parental responsibility. On a day-to-day basis, the parent that has the children makes decisions about what they eat, wear to school, shows they watch on T.V., computer time and, most importantly, bedtime.  It’s always best if parents discuss and resolve differences of opinions regarding day-to-day living.  The judge assigned to your case does not want to micromanage the lives of your children.  Look, if one parent isn’t giving Timmy his asthma medicine sure, go see the judge.  Other than a health or safety issue, don’t bother involving your child custody attorney; waste of time and money.

Where Will the Children Live if Child Custody is split?

One parent will be designated as the “primary address” for school registration purposes.  However, both parents are entitled to time with the children and are required to have a parenting plan in place that will let the parties and the court know who will have the children and when.  Florida divorce law does not “speak” in terms of custody but that is the term we are all familiar with.   Do what’s best for your children.  They need both parents in their lives.  Unless there is a compelling reason not to agree and let a Florida divorce judge make the decision, reach an agreement with your spouse.   You’ll be glad you did.

The concept of the parenting plan was implemented in order to compel parents to have a detailed plan regarding when each parent will have the children; birthdays, holidays; who will pick up/drop off; responsibility for payment of extracurricular activities.  The reason for this is simple:  stay out of court.  Look, you can always change it around, on your own, without going to court as the need arises – the plan talks about that.  Do your best to stay out of court after the divorce is finalized for your peace of mind, money and sake of your children. Working with a Florida child custody lawyer can help make sure you cover all the bases necessary.

Parenting Class for Divorcing Parents

Both parents are required to attend a parenting class if you have minor children and are filing a Florida divorce case. The certificates of completion must be filed by your Florida child custody lawyer before the final hearing or trial. Click here for a list of the parent classes in your area. ARE accepted. The parenting class is actually quite good. Dissolution of marriage is also dissolution of the family unit and you need to prepare for how that will affect you and the children.

The parenting class is designed to make you aware of issues that will invariably arise and how best to deal with them. Remember, it’s all about one thing: the best interests of your children. Make their transition as uneventful as possible. Don’t wear you emotions on your sleeve; don’t inject them into your issues; don’t talk badly about the other parent (even though they may full well deserve it). DO everything in your power to keep their day-to-day activities running on schedule. When they are tucked away in bed, sit down, have a glass of wine should you be so inclined and be thankful that you are doing the best thing for your children.