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Photo of Ian F. Mann

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3 things to know about child custody during a divorce in Florida

Solidifying your child custody arrangement is one of the most challenging parts of a divorce. Once you make the difficult decision to end your marriage, you need to determine the division of time with your children.

Whether or not your divorce leads to a court hearing, understanding Florida laws regarding divorce and child custody helps you prepare yourself.

1. Not all divorces require a hearing

In many cases, stress and financial strain lessen if both partners agree on the terms of a divorce, including child custody. Taking advantage of mediation helps you and your ex-spouse decide how to split up parenting. If mediation fails in leading to an agreement, a judge determines the final decision during a hearing.

2. The state of Florida encourages both parents’ involvement

Florida’s policy is to attempt to keep both parents present in their children’s lives as much as possible. While the state prioritizes the best interests of the child, it is not common for the court to give sole parental responsibility to only one parent.

3. Divorce with children may require a parenting course

While the requirements differ slightly from county to county, Florida laws often require that divorcing with minor children take a parenting course. Course selection and length vary depending on your county. Consider contacting your county clerk’s office for details.

Divorcing with children is a complicated process. Going into mediation or a hearing well-prepared helps you to convey what is in the best interest of your children and reach an agreement that will work for everyone.


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