When Florida parents begin to consider filing for divorce, they might be primarily concerned about its impact on their children. However, they may be able to approach the issue in a way that is less upsetting. The first thing parents should do is consider the timing. Some parents file for divorce during the school year when they can meet with their attorneys while their children are in class. Others may choose the summer when they have more time with their children.
If possible, both parents should be present for the conversation in which they tell their children about filing for divorce. Children might need counseling, and parents should think about how they can answer their questions in a way that will be least likely to upset children’s sense of security. Parents should make sure children know they are loved. They should not fight in front of them and should speak positively about the other parent.
Parents might need to have temporary custody and support orders, or they may be able to stay under one roof. Another option for parents is to let the children remain in the home while they alternate time living there. This may be part of a collaborative divorce process that allows parents to cooperate instead of taking the more adversarial approach of litigation.
In some cases, parents might not be able to cooperate on issues around divorce and child custody. Even when this is the case, they should put the best interests of the child first just as a judge would. This means that even if the parents are in a great deal of conflict, they should allow the other parent shared custody or visitation unless there are issues like abuse.