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Florida parents must be flexible in child custody approach

When two parents have gone through a difficult breakup or have battled over the division of parenting time, there are often a number of lingering resentments that can color their interaction for many years to come. This is an understandable but unfortunate state of events, as it leaves both sides feeling as though the only way to deal with the other parent is through an adversarial stance. In reality, most Florida parents would be better served by trying to be as flexible as possible within their child custody agreement.

This is not to say that the custody structure that was agreed to or ordered by the court is not important. It is, and for good reason. Parents and children need to have their new family structure guided by a road map of sorts, and a custody order provides that outline of what to expect. However, anyone who has raised a child knows that it is important to be able to adapt and adjust, and that change is the only constant within any family scenario.

Parents must be able to work together to place the needs of their shared children above their own emotional reaction to the end of their romantic relationship. Sometimes, this means giving the other parent more time than the paperwork allows. Other times it means stepping in to lend a hand when the other parent needs help with childcare, transportation or other matters.

Sticking to the court order is a great plan, but in reality, it is very difficult to accomplish. The scheduling alone can provide a significant roadblock, especially when kids get older and their activities become more complex and demanding. Parents must strive to place their child or children at the center of every decision or interaction with their ex. By doing so, all parties can find a balance where the kids get what they need and both Florida parents feel as though they are actively involved in the lives of their children.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Common Post Divorce Parenting Mistakes", Hanif Virani, Feb. 19, 2016

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