When you become a parent and form a relationship with your child, it's not usually something you would later expect to have to defend in a courtroom. However, when parents divorce or are no longer together who will have parenting time and how parental responsibility will be shared can become a fiercely contested issue. The court will examine both parents and assess their ability to provide a safe, stable, and emotionally healthy environment for their child. Here are some ways in which you can demonstrate positive parenting during your child custody case:
Show Respect towards the Other Parent
Florida courts look to numerous factors to determine what is the best interest of a child. The first element they can examine is “the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship, to honor the time-sharing schedule, and to be reasonable when changes are required.” While your case is pending you and the other parent will have to abide by a temporary schedule when it comes to spending time with your child. This is an opportunity to show the court you can be cooperative and flexible when necessary and supportive of the other parent’s connection with your child.
Maintain a Consistent Schedule
Children can be extremely affected by changes to their routine. When parents separate, this is disruptive to everything they have come to rely upon. They are looking to you to be there for parenting time on the days, and at the times you are scheduled. This provides a sense of stability for kids during an uncertain period in their lives. Additionally, the Florida best interest factors also consider "the demonstrated capacity and disposition of each parent to provide a consistent routine for the child, such as discipline, and daily schedules for homework, meals, and bedtime.” When you are together, be sure you are keeping them on their regular schedule with the same or similar parameters they have come to expect in their daily lives. While it is fine to do special things when you are together, being the “fun” parent who does not make them go to bed on time or do homework, will not be viewed positively by the court.
Stay or Become Involved
Another way to show your parenting skills is by staying involved in your child’s school events and extracurricular activities. The law considers each parent’s demonstrated capacity and ability to participate in these areas. For example, volunteering at your child's school or to assist with their sports team, are ways in which you can exhibit your efforts and involvement in matters which are important to their lives.
Showing your parenting skills is a critical part of gaining parenting time and being able to make important decisions regarding your children. You need an experienced family lawyer to help you present the facts in a way which demonstrates your positive parenting and supports the parent-child relationship. We have experienced child custody attorneys who know what to so and can help. Please, contact us to schedule a free consultation. We invite you to learn more about our firm here.