Although just about every aspect of a divorce can be challenging, many Floridians find negotiating and litigating child custody issues to be the most emotionally charged, and for good reason. The outcome of a child custody dispute will dictate how much time each parent spends with a child, which, in turn, can affect a parent's relationship with their child. To protect this relationship as fully as possible, Floridians embroiled in a divorce need to understand how to present compelling legal arguments that support their position and their child's best interests.
Marriage dissolution can present a number of issues that must be sorted through before the parties can move on with their lives. Although many people who are facing divorce simply want to get the matter over with as quickly as possible, they need to take the time needed to ensure a fair and appropriate outcome that protects not only their best interests, but also the best interests of their children.
Recently on the blog we discussed the effects that parental substance abuse can have on children. Sadly, many kids in Florida are subjected to abuse or neglect, or are forced to take on responsibility beyond their years because their parents are battling an addiction. Fortunately, parents can take certain legal steps to better ensure that their children are protected.
Child support obligations can have a profound impact on a family's financial well-being. For a custodial parent, it can set the stage for how he or she will provide for his or her child, and any shortfalls may lead to financial hardship. For noncustodial parents, child support obligations can account for a significant portion of their financial expenses. Thus, the legal system in Florida seeks to find a balance that allows and encourages noncustodial parents to meet their child support obligations while contributing significantly to the costs associated with their child's upbringing.
Child custody and visitation issues are sometimes amongst the most highly contested family law matters. Splitting couples may feud over these arrangements, with each believing it knows what is best for the child in question. When these matters cannot be settled outside of court, they must be determined by a judge after the presentation of evidence. This decision will be based on the best interests of the child, which takes several factors into consideration.
Issues related to child custody and child support can linger until a child reaches the age of majority, which is 18. The outcome of disputes involving these issues can have serious ramifications. Relationships with one's children can be built or destroyed, and financial standing can be solidified or ruined. Therefore, there is a lot at stake when dealing with child custody and support matters, which is why those confronting them should consider seeking help from a qualified family law attorney.
Visitation interference is a serious matter. When parents are granted joint physical custody of a child, they must agree to abide by and respect the visitation time of the other parent. If one chooses not to do so, there are legal remedies available.
Modification of a child custody agreement is not a matter taken lightly by any court. A party must be able to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that changes have taken place which directly affect the well-being and safety of a child. The child's best interests will always remain the heart of any custody agreement. While the state of Florida has made it easy to file a modification petition, that does not mean that a Judge will easily grant one.
Parents divorce for many reasons, but for kids, growing up in a home rife with tension and unhappiness it is far more damaging than the effect divorce has on them. However, researchers in the United Kingdom suggest that kids raised in a single parent home are more apt to experiment with smoking and alcohol at the age of 11.
Our firm recently published a SlideShare documenting the steps a relocating parent should take to maintain or adjust child custody. Learn about the requirements of relocation petitions, and how the court determines whether they are approved.