A divorce can be one of the most stressful processes an individual goes through during their life. If you have children, the process will likely be even more complicated.
Though the divorce process can be highly emotional, it is important to not let your emotions get the better of you. Doing so may lead you to act in a way that could be detrimental to retaining parental responsibility of your children.
How Florida determines custody
Florida's Statute 63.13 stipulates that the courts will treat mothers and fathers the same when creating a parenting plan. Furthermore, courts start with the premise that both parents should share parental responsibility unless doing so would be a detriment to the child's best interest.
Some of the criteria that determine a child's best interest include:
- The ability of each parent to provide a stable environment
- Preferences of the child, if they can understand their situation and communicate preferences
- The capacity of each parent's ability to communicate with the other about the child
- The capacity of each parent to protect the child from on-going litigation by refraining from disparaging the other parent in front of the child.
- The capacity of the parent to honor a time-sharing agreement and make reasonable accommodations for changes when required
- Evidence of domestic violence or child abuse
- Evidence of a parent providing false information to the court about domestic violence or child abuse
What can hurt your custody case
Because of the criteria, it is especially important that you do your best to not let any problems that you may have with your spouse affect your child.
For example, though courts will account for a child's wishes when drafting a parenting plan, it will reflect poorly on you if you disparage the other parent in front of your child.
In general, divorce courts will view anything that you do which disrupts the stability of family life negatively. Obviously, physical violence would impact the parenting plan. But even something as innocuous as acting standoffish could be interpreted as an inability to communicate with your spouse.
Getting through a challenging period
When you are going through a divorce, creating a stable environment for a child can be challenging. However, doing your best to protect them from your marital issues and to continue to communicate with your spouse about their needs can lead to a healthier life post-divorce.