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Plantation Family Law Blog

What do you think of tri-parenting?

A new parenting model is emerging around the nation, and a lot of state family law judges are agreeing with the idea. It's called tri-parenting, and it involves a child having three parents instead of two.

On the surface, tri-parenting might not make a lot of sense unless you're considering a polygamous marriage. But if you consider the legalization of gay marriage two years ago, tri-parenting is exactly the model we need -- especially when a same-sex female couple decides to bring a male friend into the equation to have a baby.

Odd work schedules and child custody

Everyone has their own way of making money. Some of us have jobs that keep a regular nine-to-five schedule and others of us have anything but a normal schedule. For those who have odd work schedules, it's not a very big issue until we want to spend time with people in the nine-to-five world -- and it can become an even bigger issue if you're a newly single parent.

Doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers and others working unusual hours could face special challenges when trying to negotiate a suitable parenting schedule with their exes. Let's say you're a firefighter and on shift for 24 hours at a time twice a week. Even worse, one of those 24-hour periods overlaps the weekend -- and your ex works a nine-to-five job at an accounting firm. You're going to have a hard time making you and your ex's schedules mesh.

The 3 primary components of a child visitation plan in Florida

Family law courts in Florida don't use the terms "custody and visitation" to describe child sharing arrangements anymore. They prefer to call it "time-sharing." If you haven't established time-sharing rights regarding your children, and the other parent is unwilling to give them to you voluntarily, you may need to file a child custody case to assert your parental rights in court.

When establishing your time-sharing rights, there are three primary components that the court will consider:

When grandparents take custody of their grandchildren

If both parents of a child die, a grandparent or another family member might step in as the new legal guardian of the child. However, aside from death, there are other scenarios under which a Florida grandparent might feel it's important to assume the role of parent for his or her grandchildren.

Here some of the most common reasons why grandparents become parents again:

Protect your children from the divorce blues

If you're in the throes of a child custody dispute, remember: Even though the process is stressful and scary for you, it could be even more frightening for your children. It's important for Florida parents to try and shield their children from the most psychologically tumultuous effects of their child custody proceedings.

Here are a few things to keep in mind in order to protect your children's feelings of security during your divorce process:

How do Floridians organize their child visitation schedules?

When you're trying to negotiate a child visitation schedule with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it can be a difficult and emotional process. More than that, though, spouses often feel lost as to what visitation schedule is the most appropriate. Fortunately, Florida parents don't have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to visitation schedules.

Usually, the non-custodial parent will be in charge of about 20 percent of parenting time. This doesn't account for daycare time or school time. Here are some of the most common child custody arrangements that parents select:

Determining your child's best interests

It doesn't matter what your agenda is, and it doesn't matter how you feel about the issue. When it comes to child custody lawsuits, Florida courts will always strive to make decisions that honor the best interests of your child first and foremost.

That said, it might not be entirely easy for a Florida parent -- or a Florida court for that matter -- to ascertain what the best interests of a particular child happen to be. In evaluating "best interests," courts will usually look at the following general factors:

Japan does not have a good track record with the Hague Convention

Japan ratified the Hague Convention on international child abduction about three years ago. At the time, legal experts celebrated the fact that Japan had agreed to honor the child custody orders of other countries in parental child abduction cases. Japan had long been considered one of the worst countries to deal with when it came to international parental child abduction because the country typically awarded custody to Japanese parent, and there was little that American parent could do.

The problem is, three years after Japan joined the Convention, some are saying that the country remains reticent to return children to their home countries. Sixty-eight requests have been made to return children under the Convention so far, but only 18 ended up with the children going back. Twelve were dismissed, 19 resulted in settlements not to return the children and 19 more are still pending. This means that Japan has only returned children in less than 30 percent of the requests.

Protecting your children during parental visitation time

Every family is different, and some families have an abusive parent. That parent might be physically or verbally abusive, but whatever form the abuse takes, you will want to protect your children from being harmed by it when they're spending time with the parent. Here's what you need to know.

If your ex has a legally documented history of being abusive, in which there are domestic violence arrests, it's important to make this point known when the family law court is making its decision on visitation rights. In cases where the court has any reason to believe that the children will be in danger, it will assign supervised visitation.

Should in-vitro children be told how they were conceived?

In-vitro fertilization and other modern fertility practices -- like surrogacy and artificial insemination -- bring up different legal questions. Most importantly, do the children born from these practices have the right to know who their real parents are? And, should these children be given other special rights?

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Law Office of Kelley A. Joseph, P.A.
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900 South Pine Island Road, Suite 230
Plantation, FL 33324

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