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.
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.
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.
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 nearly every kind of legal proceeding, foresight is everything, and child custody negotiations aren't any different -- especially when you're trying to negotiate a workable coparenting agreement with the other parent of your child. When parents have foresight, and the benefit of legal knowledge and experience, they can include specific language in their parenting plans that will help them circumnavigate potential problems later down the road.
A hundred years ago, when a woman had a child out of wedlock, there wasn't any way for the courts to determine who the father was. They could look at the physical characteristics of the child and take a guess, but beyond hunches and guesswork, there was no way to know for sure. These days, if a child is born to unmarried parents, legal avenues exist through which the mother can establish paternity for the purpose of collecting child support. The biological father can also step forward to establish paternity for the purpose of gaining visitation rights.
If you ask a child psychologist, he or she will probably tell you that joint child custody is preferred. Child psychologists like the idea of children spending half their time with you and half their time with the other parent because it gives them as much time as possible with both parents -- and this has a positive effect on their growth and development. At the same time, however, psychologists will also agree that a 50-50 custody split is not appropriate in all situations.
There's no way to predict what will happen in your post-divorce life. However, if you're a parent, you will need to do your best to look into the future and prepare for every contingency. This is the task that's asked of parents when they set out to draft a parenting plan that supports their needs and protects them and their children from the threat of disagreements later down the line.
In the olden days of English common law, the father automatically kept custody of his children in the case of a child custody disagreement. Fathers held the legal right to have physical custody of their children, including the earnings and labor of their children. The courts of the time believed fathers should retain this right because the fathers -- as the financial rulers of their households -- paid to educate, train and support their children.
If you're in the throes of a child custody dispute, you probably know that courts give more weight to the parent considered to be the "primary caretaker." If, for example, there's a disagreement about who the children should live with, the judge will probably rule that they should live with the primary caretakers.