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How parents can work together after a divorce

When parents in Florida get a divorce, they will usually still need to maintain some sort of relationship as coparents. Courts take the position that unless there are serious issues such as neglect or abuse, children should spend time with both parents. However, a smooth co-parenting relationship can require some effort.

How substance abuse can impact child custody

Single parents in Florida may become very concerned if they learn that their co-parent is abusing alcohol or drugs. In some cases, substance use disorders can lead to actions that are harmful or dangerous to children. If a drug problem becomes a big enough concern, the family court may get involved with a custody situation.

What to know about terminating parental rights

Parents in Florida and throughout the country may be asked to terminate their parental rights. This can be done in situations when a parent doesn't seek out a relationship with a child or is perceived to be a danger to a son or daughter. If a parent does choose to terminate his or her rights to a child, it generally means the end of child support payments from that person.

Film looks at race, poverty and child support

Child custody and support can be challenging issues for divorced or separated Florida parents, especially where issues with the system intersect with poverty and racism. The documentary "Where's Daddy?" seeks to explore the child support system and how it affects black families, particularly fathers. While a great deal of attention is often paid to the large amount of child support debt that exists across the country, the relationship to poverty can be striking.

Voluntary and involuntary processes of establishing paternity

Children in Florida potentially have much to gain when their fathers are identified within official records. In addition to gaining the opportunity to know his or her father, a child could become eligible to receive child support from him. If his or her father dies, the child could also qualify for Social Security death benefits or perhaps an inheritance. For these reasons, a family might wish to establish paternity regardless of the father's willingness to participate.

Why mediation works in child custody cases

Florida parents who are going through the divorce process may benefit from going through mediation to resolve child custody issues. One of the primary benefits is that the parents work together to create a unified plan to help raise their children. The focus is placed on the best interest of the child as opposed to what the parents want for themselves.

Custody remains a tool for abusers to victimize others

Parents in Florida and throughout the country may believe that an abusive spouse or partner won't have rights to the victim's child. However, courts may disregard previous abuse in child custody cases. In some cases, a judge may be swayed by the fact that a parent is making an effort to be in a son or daughter's life. For some who have prior instances of abuse, obtaining custody of a child is an attempt to further control the victim.

The major concerns in child custody cases

For parents in Florida dealing with a divorce or the end of a relationship, the most complex and difficult questions to resolve often relate to caring for their children. Child custody decisions can be contentious and painful as both parents often seek the maximum amount of time with their children. When parents can come to an agreement among themselves, they can often develop a mutual understanding about how to handle custody issues. In many cases, however, the court must make a determination as to how custody will be handled.

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