Visitation- how divorce impacts how often you see your children.
Navigating new territory … where to start with custody.
During divorce or paternity proceedings, the biggest question most parents have is “how often will I see my kids?” Understandably, it’s an enormous concern. To go from being able to tuck your child in every night to not having the enjoyment of spending every Christmas or holiday with them as they unwrap their presents … it’s a huge adjustment for both parent and child.
In Florida, the term “time-sharing” has replaced “visitation.” Visitation and time-sharing are often problematic in high-conflict cases. To ensure the emotional well being of a child, it’s important that the following occur:
- Each parent should treat the other parent with respect.
- Be reasonably flexible with regards to schedules.
- Children from divorced families want a schedule. Try to nail down a routine for them.
- Don’t ask the children to take sides.
- Try to have open and friendly communication with the other parent.
- Let the child know it’s okay to love both parents.
What If One Parent Is Making Visitation Or Time-Sharing Difficult?
A time-sharing (used in Florida) or visitation order is an extremely important document for parents engaged in high-conflict cases. The parenting plan or visitation order should at a minimum provide the following details:
- The schedule that will apply. What days will each parent have the child, including holidays and vacations.
- How and where pickup will occur.
A court approved parenting plan or custody order must be followed. A parent who fails to adhere to the terms of these document runs the risk of being in contempt of court. In severe circumstances, failure to adhere to the time-share or custody order will result in a modification of the order.
In situations of parental alienation, one parent may continuously violate the court order. Because the emotional damage to the child may prove traumatic, it is important to ask the court to enforce the timesharing/custody order as soon as possible and if appropriate request that the order be modified.
What To Do?
If your child’s parent is not following a time-sharing or visitation order, it’s important to seek the legal services of a lawyer familiar with Florida time-sharing and custody issues. I am attorney Jennifer H. Milne. At South Florida Legal Rescue, I will listen to the facts of your case and propose a solution for you. My firm offers both flat fee and traditional retainer fees. Call 561-303-0400 to schedule your free consultation.