Family law judges tend to award both parents joint legal and physical custody whenever possible. They often do this because they’ve read how children fare best when they spend equal amounts of time with each parent. Splitting custody 50-50 isn’t always what’s in the best interest of the child though. It’s in cases like these that judges tend to award primary physical or legal custody to one of them. That mom or dad then comes to be referred to as the custodial parent.
The terminology “custodial parent” simply refers to the mom or dad that the child spends the majority of their time, or lives, with. It’s that parent who generally enjoys primary physical or legal custody over their child. Many rights and responsibilities come with this role.
You can set your child’s visitation schedule once you’re appointed to this role. It’s best if you don’t play hardball with your son or daughter’s other parent. You should instead try to find a happy medium that both of you can work with when it comes to scheduling. If you, as the custodial parent, need to adjust your visitation schedule then you must advise your child’s other one right away so that you don’t unnecessarily inconvenience them.
Although you may have the full legal authority to make certain medical, schooling and child-rearing decisions on your child’s behalf as the custodial parent, you shouldn’t necessarily do this. You should instead keep your ex involved in the decision-making process. This includes letting them know if you plan to move out of the area before you put any plans in motion.
You should also be mindful of your ex when making any purchase decisions. This is especially important if you’re considering paying for private schooling, certain medical procedures or enrolling them in extracurricular activities. You should consult with your child’s noncustodial parent before making any costly financial commitments that they have to chip in and pay for.
Reaching an agreement about custody with your ex isn’t supposed to be a bloody battle or war. Many parents allow for their emotions to get the best of them instead of focusing on what’s best for their kids. An attorney here in Fort Myers can help you come up with a viable visitation schedule that will work for both you and your ex in your Florida case.