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Plantation Family Law Blog

Sharing holiday time with the other parent of your kids

Barring rare circumstances, the other parent of your children will usually share custody with you -- and at the very least, this parent will have visitation rights. This means that when important holidays come around, you'll have to find a way of sharing this time with the other parent of your kids.

Holidays like Hanukkah, Christmas, Halloween, Easter and other cultural and religious days may have special meaning to your family. Your child will probably want to spend time with both you and your spouse on these days, so it's important to find a fair way of divvying up the time. Holding a family meeting to decide this issue could prove fruitful in this regard if you and your ex-spouse are able to talk and work with one another in a civil and respectful fashion.

Reasons why a Florida parent could lose child custody

Your child is the most precious thing in your life, but that doesn't mean you will always have the "right" to possess your child -- if the government decides to intervene. There are several circumstances in which a Florida parent could lose his or her parental rights.

Whether you're seeking to challenge the other parent of your child's fitness to be a parent, or are trying to defend your parental rights, you might want to know about the following reasons why the state could revoke parenting privileges:

4 ways to share your parenting time

Newly divorcing parents will need to find a suitable way to divide the time they spend with their children. The best way to arrive at a suitable and lawfully appropriate parenting-time agreement is to stay flexible to what works for you, your child, the other parent and your unique situations. Here are four ways that parents might split the time they spend with their kids:

The 50-50 schedule

Florida co-parents: How to share holiday time with your ex

The thought of an empty house on Christmas morning can be devastating for a newly divorced Florida parent. Whether your most treasured holiday is Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Halloween or St. Patrick's Day, the joy of partaking in family traditions on this day could be the highlight of your year, so it can be difficult to let go of your kids. Nevertheless, while negotiating a workable parenting plan with your ex, you'll need to decide how to share these special days.

Here are a few ways that Florida parents may want to share holiday time:

Child custody vocabulary: Do you know these terms?

Most Florida parents who find themselves in a difficult child custody disagreement will contract an attorney to help them navigate their legal proceedings. In this respect, parents will not need to know everything about Florida family law. They can rely on their attorneys to help them. That said, if parents know certain terms, it will help them communicate with their attorneys toward the result they desire.

Here are some common child custody terms that will be useful to you in this regard:

Establishment of paternity in Florida: How it works

Florida families are not always traditional. The modern family unit is flexible and takes a lot of different forms. You might find two unmarried parents living with their kids, a single mother living with her children and a boyfriend, two married parents with stepchildren from previous relationships, and so on.

Of course, it's always obvious who the mother of a specific child is. The parental status of the mother is established at birth. In the case of the father, establishing parentage could be a little more involved — especially if the father doesn't sign the birth certificate, or if the mother and alleged father disagree on who the biological father happens to be.

What is therapeutically supervised visitation?

Florida parents don't always have the legal right to spend time with their kids. When a parent is denied access to his or her children like this, however, it's painful and damaging for both the parent and the child. In fact, children can grow up with emotional scars when they're denied access to a mother or father for legal reasons. For this reason, Florida courts will strive to ensure that children have access to both parents. Courts may even award supervised visitation in cases where the court believes that the parent poses a danger or threat to the safety of the child.

Supervised visitation allows for children to visit with their parents in a safe and supervised setting. During supervised visits, the visiting time will be carried out in a neutral location with a court-approved, adult supervisor present. In some cases, when the visitation sessions are what's called "therapeutically supervised visitation," this supervisor serves a more important purpose than simply being there to ensure the child's safety.

Incorporate these 3 items into your parenting agreement

When it comes to a well-drafted parenting plan, foresight and experience go a very long way. Parents need to consider what their future co-parenting relationship will be like. They need to foresee potential problems, and they need to incorporate solutions for those potential problems within a carefully-drafted parenting plan.

An experienced family law attorney can be very helpful in the process of creating parenting plans with this kind of foresight. Here's what most family law attorneys will want to include in such parenting agreements:

Do you need to change your child visitation agreement?

Changing your child visitation agreement could be necessary if you or your spouse's life circumstances evolve over time. Imagine you have a new job and work schedule that make your current weekend visitation schedule unworkable. Alternatively, imagine you become ill and can't visit your child often anymore. Perhaps your child's circumstances change, and this requires an adjustment to the visitation schedule.

In many cases, the other parent of the child will agree that a change is necessary and assist you in finding a workable solution. In other cases, if the other parent disagrees with your request for modification, you might have to appeal to a Florida family law court to approve the change. When filing an application to modify your child visitation orders like this, you will need to prove the following requirements to gain the court's approval:

  • There has been a substantial change in circumstances that stands to significantly affect the relationship between the parent and child and the ability to carry out visits.
  • The change in circumstances was unanticipated at the time the initial visitation orders were created.
  • Altering the child visitation agreement in the way that the parent wants is in the best interests of the child.

Quality of life in marriage, credit-card debt and child support

Just like some are content with one beer and others are not, some can spend responsibly and others are swipe-happy with their credit cards. If you're a responsible spender, and you're married to a swipe-happy person, you may be suffering financially because of it. In fact, many decide to bring their marriages to a close because of their spouses' out-of-control spending habits. When one spouse racks up large credit card bills, however, the other spouse might might wonder how will this debt will be divided in divorce and will the false quality of life made possible by the debt affect child support amounts?

The majority of debts and assets that spouses accumulate during their marriages will be a part of the marital estate and divisible. However, if one spouse is clearly out of control with his or her debt accumulation habits – and especially if that debt wasn't used to benefit the family – a family law court may side with the more fiscally responsible spouse when divvying up that debt. In other words, the swipe-happy spouse may have to keep the irresponsibly accumulated debt in his or her name during the asset division process.

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