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Plantation Family Law Blog

Reasons why you may need to change your visitation date or time

If you have visitation rights with your children, you know how important it is to make the most of every minute you spend together. However, there could come a point when you realize that you need to change your visitation date or time.

Should you find yourself in this position, the first thing you should do is reach out to your ex-spouse. You can't make any changes until they first agree to them.

What is legal custody? Learn to make it work for you

In your divorce, you'll find yourself faced with questions and concerns regarding both physical and legal custody.

Legal custody provides a parent (or parents) with the power to make important decisions regarding their children, including but not limited to:

  • Medical care
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Extracurricular activities

Child custody and visitation: Things to discuss with your children

When you first tell your children about your divorce, they're likely to have concerns about the impact on their future. However, depending on their age, they may quickly put this out of their mind.

As things change down the line, it's important that you keep your children informed as to how child custody and visitation will affect them. Here are some things you should discuss:

  • Where your children will live: For example, if you have physical custody of your children, let them know that they'll be sleeping in the same house as you, most of the time. This is also a good opportunity to discuss where you'll live, such as if your ex got the family house in the divorce.
  • Visitation rights: Sticking with the example above, your ex may have visitation rights with your children. Explain this to the kids, letting them know what the schedule looks like.
  • The impact on their life: This can include everything from where they go to school to how much time they have for their friends on the weekends. Not only should you discuss the potential impact on their life, but make it clear to them that you want what's best for them. Keep an open mind regarding their wants and needs.

What are the different child custody and visitation options?

There are a lot of things that come into focus when a couple is faced with an impending divorce. One such concern is how they're going to share custody of their kids. While it's best if a couple can reach an agreement among themselves, many cannot. It's in situations like this that the court may step in and make decisions for them. There are a variety of child custody options a judge here in Plantation may impose depending on the circumstances.

A judge may award legal or physical custody to one or both parents.

Does age impact what type of custody schedule is most ideal?

It's difficult for any parents to transition from seeing their child virtually anytime to having to schedule when they're going to spend time with them. It can be helpful to have a third party step in and negotiate a custody schedule that may be amenable to both. How you should split up your time with your child varies greatly depending on their age and stage of development.

Infants and toddlers tend to instill a lot of trust in their primary caretaker. This is why long periods of separation between parents and their kids aren't ideal at this age. Your son or daughter may easily become depressed and develop separation anxiety if you're separated for a long time. This can lead them to have difficulty in developing relationships and regression on down the road.

Visitation concerns to address with your ex

If you have visitation rights with your children, it's important to take advantage of every minute you get to spend together. Not only is this good for you, but the same holds true for your children.

It's your hope that you never run into visitation related concerns, but there's always a chance this could happen. For example, your ex-spouse may do their best to take away some of your rights, as they're still angry about your divorce.

What to do if your ex violates your parenting agreement

When you create a parenting agreement, you do so with the idea that both you and your ex will rely on it to raise your children to the best of your ability.

Despite the fact that your parenting agreement is a legally binding court order, your ex may take the liberty to violate it every now and again. While everyone makes mistakes, if this turns into a regular occurrence it's critical to take action.

What to say to your children about post-divorce life

Just as you have concerns about your life after divorce, your children are sure to share some of your feelings. They know things are changing but may not have a solid grasp as to what it means for them.

There are many things you can say to your children to help them better understand what's to come. You can start with the following:

  • Explain your child custody arrangement: For example, your children may be living with you but visiting with your ex every other weekend. Explain to them how this works and why it's important.
  • Let them know that both their parents love them: Even though circumstances are changing, your children must still realize that both their parents love them and will do anything for them. Should your ex not be in the picture as much as you would like, you'll have to explain this as your post-divorce life comes about.
  • It'll get better: Change is never easy, especially when it's brought about as a result of divorce. It's your job to assure your children that things will get better in the near future.

Custody, visitation rights and summer vacation

You wait all year long to go on a summer vacation with your children. While it has the potential to be an enjoyable experience for everyone, it can also turn sour should you run into issues regarding child custody and visitation.

For example, you have plans to take your children on vacation the same week as your ex. If this happens, one or both of you will need to adjust your schedule.

Child custody and your children: Make sure they're comfortable

As you work through your divorce, it won't be long before you turn your attention to child custody, visitation and related matters. This is often one of the biggest sticking points in the divorce process, so you need to prepare accordingly.

Once you work through everything with your ex-spouse, either in mediation or litigation, you'll have a parenting agreement and visitation schedule that can guide you in the future.

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