Will I Lose Custody of My Children in Florida?

Will I Lose Custody of My Children in Florida?

Spouses in Palm Beach County, Florida, and surrounding areas may be eager to get out of a bad marriage, but one question can leave you lingering in a miserable marriage for months, or even years: what about my kids? No one wants to subject their children to the pain of a divorce, but even worse is the risk of losing your relationship with your children altogether. You’re right to worry, since worry can spur you to make good decisions and hire a skilled lawyer. But the truth is that, unless you face some unusual circumstances, it’s highly unlikely you’ll lose your kids. The Best Interests of the Child Florida uses the best interest of the child standard, which means that there is no presumption in favor of either parent. Instead, it’s up to the judge to evaluate what is in the child’s best interest. The judge can evaluate a number of factors, including: The ability of each parent to provide for the child The emotional stability of each parent The quality of environment offered by each parent The relationship between the child and parent In most cases, your previous relationship with your child will be what counts most. If you’re a loving, involved parent, you have very little to worry about. If you have a history of addiction, have behaved abusively, or have engaged in domestic violence, though, you very well could lose your children, particularly if the history is recent or you have not sought treatment.  Joint Custody Many judges start from a presumption that joint custody is in the best interests of the child and reason backward...

How Should We Tell Our Children We’re Getting Divorced?

Families in Palm Beach, Boca Raton, and surrounding areas in Florida, like families across the country, are often tasked with one of the hardest things they’ll ever have to do: tell their children they’re getting divorced. The way you handle this initial conversation sets the tone for the rest of your divorce, and this moment may be something your children remember for the rest of their lives. Don’t reveal your divorce in a fit of anger or without thinking about how you’re going to do it. Your children deserve clear explanations and an environment in which it feels safe to ask questions and share feelings. Here’s how to give that to them. Be Clear and Specific Some parents don’t want to deal with the pain of telling a child a divorce is permanent, so they make the mistake of saying daddy’s going on vacation or that mommy and daddy are going to life separately “for a while.” This creates false hopes that can give rise to intense anxiety and depression. Your child needs to know that divorce is permanent and that you won’t get back together. Try something along the lines of “Mommy and daddy cannot live together anymore. We love you very much, and this has nothing to do with you. We’ll both still see you a lot, but we won’t be seeing each other as much.” Be Age-Appropriate As with everything else in parenting, you need to tailor your conversation to your child’s age and maturity level. You know your child best, but the general rule is to offer more information to older children. Children under the...