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 » 2011 » November

The Best Interests of a Child Are the Most Important In Divorce Proceedings

In contentious divorces, it often feels like one spouse is overpowering the negotiations about child custody and the visitation schedule. That parent will make it seem like the other parent is not caring, does not have time for the child, and does not provide enough, even if these things are not true. In part, this is why it is important to have a skilled divorce attorney to represent you and what you truly do to be an active parent in your child’s life.

Family law judges consider many things when they decide on child custody matters. They want to take into account all the factors that lead to the best interests of the child. This includes:

The child’s age
The child’s current routine with school and activities
The child’s preference, particularly if they are in their teenage years
The potential emotional and social impact of the custody arrangement
Any special medical or educational needs
A parent’s lifestyle, stability, financial status, and health to provide for the child
The current child-parent relationship

Sometimes a judge will request that a guardian ad litem, custody evaluator, mental health professional, or a social worker should evaluate the parents and child to provide the family law courts with the best recommendation for the child. Once a decision has been made, this will affect the child custody and parenting agreement. It is important to get clarification regarding any parts of these documents that are unclear to you as a parent. Months and years down the road, you do not want to be accused of violating these orders because something was vague and you could not quite meet the requirements that were laid out.

Violating the child custody or visitation orders can cause you to be in contempt of court, allow the other parent to have “make up” visitation time, and can even involve the guilty parent having to pay for attorneys’ fees or face jail time. Parents are allowed to modify these agreements as the child grows and various life events necessitate a modification of the custody or parenting schedule. What is most important is to work out any future changes with your ex in a rational manner. Withholding visitation to get back at your ex hardly does any good as your child then becomes caught in the middle of the crossfire.

Brandon child custody attorney Joshua Law is with Olivero Law in Tampa Bay and as a children’s rights lawyer, he looks out for the child’s best interests in divorce cases. If you need a Brandon divorce lawyer, Brandon child custody lawyer, or Brandon family law attorney, call 813.654.5777 or visit http://www.brandonlawoffice.com/.

Posted on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 7:13 pm under Divorce and Family Law.
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First Year of Splitting Holiday Custody Requires Careful Planning

The holidays present a unique challenge for the children of divorced couples – especially in the first year. Using an attorney-negotiated schedule for the first holiday season of shared custody is critical.

Children have high expectations and parents inevitably have high anxiety levels. Children will need to be reminded that this is still special time with family and extended family will need to be updated on what’s going on with the custody agreement so that they can help meet children’s expectations.

It is best to stick to the attorney-negotiated holiday custody agreement as closely as possible and take notes on what worked best for you, what the child’s reactions were and how the agreement might be fine-tuned for next year.

Whether your agreement was to split the holidays up in the middle of the day or to give each parent a full day, keep track of how it worked for you and for the child so you can bring it up the next time the custody agreement is discussed. Chances are, discussions of the custody agreement in the moment will only add to the anxiety level.

For example, you can arrange for one spouse to have the children on Thanksgiving Day and for the other spouse to have custody for the weekend after Thanksgiving. If this arrangement did not work well for one child, but was fine with the others, some modifications might be in order. Or maybe you all agreed the children would spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with one parent, but Christmas night with the other parent, yet the children felt unsettled by being uprooted mid-day. Again, it is possible to revisit the agreements for next year. In the end, you may collectively decide to handle each holiday differently. Some will be shared while others are rotated annually.

Joint custody holiday schedules are more difficult to maintain than the regular weekly custody schedule that you have all become accustomed to, so it is important to be diligent and punctual for everybody’s sake.

The first holidays after a divorce can be a time for new traditions to start. Encouraging the children to be a part of the beginning of some new traditions will help make the new arrangement special for them.

Brandon child custody lawyer Joshua Law is with Olivero Law in Tampa Bay and is also a children’s rights lawyer. If you need a Brandon child custody attorney or Brandon family law attorney, call 813.654.5777 or visit http://www.brandonlawoffice.com/.

Posted on Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 at 7:13 pm under Divorce and Family Law.
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