Divorce and child custody issues can bring up many emotions which is why it is important that parents fully understand the family law process and the laws that impact them.
Lawmakers throughout the country are exploring the idea of shared parenting as advocates argue that parents that are divorcing should share equal custody. As a result, lawmakers have been examining child custody laws. An alimony reform bill, however, that included shared parenting was vetoed in Florida last year. Advocates in favor of shared parenting argue that shared parenting laws, which provide for equal parenting time for both parents, are better for children and can lead to a better relationship with the child. Advocates object to laws that award sole custody unless some type of abuse is involved.
Experts note that a national movement toward shared parenting and joint custody is based on the changing roles of fathers, the fact that many people support the concept of shared custody and preferences normally given to custodial parents frustrate many custody situations. The push to change child custody laws seeks to allow judges greater flexibility to establish custody arrangements in the best interests of the child. Advocates are basing calls for change on the need for parents to have equality and an ability to work out custodial arrangements.
Many parents are able to work out child custody arrangements amicably through the family law process. When parents are unable to do so, however, and a child custody dispute arises, the court may intervene to establish child custody and visitation rights. In doing so, the court will always focus on the best interests of the child in making any child custody determination.
Because family law can change, it is important that any divorcing parent understands the current law in the state where the family resides and any potential changes to those laws. A family law attorney can help ensure a parent is knowledgeable about family law that applies to that parent’s situation and that the best outcomes possible for that parent are achieved.
Source: Florida Today, “Shared parenting could be new divorce outcome,” Jonathan Ellis, Jan. 28, 2014