Florida law generally allows both parents to play a role in their children’s lives after a divorce. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive as much parenting time as you’d like or that you’ll have the final say on major decisions regarding your child’s upbringing. A child custody agreement must meet the best interest of the child standard, and meeting that standard may be easier by engaging in a collaborative divorce process.
Collaborative vs. adversarial processes
Mediation is a form of collaborative divorce because you and your spouse are working together to create a solution that works for everyone. Meanwhile, litigation is considered an adversarial process because each side is working against each other to get the best possible outcome for themselves. In addition to being more expensive and time-consuming, litigation may also hurt your child both now and in the long run.
When a collaborative process is effective
A collaborative divorce process is most effective when you feel like you can communicate with your spouse in a relatively open and civil manner. To resolve child custody issues, a neutral party with a background in childhood development will work with you to create solutions for all parties involved. For instance, if you work overnight, you may ask for the right to stop by your child’s home for a few minutes before school each morning. Conversely, you may agree to pick the child up from school after you wake up.
Protect your child
Typically, there is no need for your child to be privy to anything that happens during a collaborative process. Therefore, your son or daughter can focus on being a kid instead of feeling like a pawn in a game.
In a divorce settlement, you may push for sole custody and child support payments. However, in most cases, parents who are denied custody rights are still granted the ability to spend time with their kids.