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Child custody in the interim

There are many issues that need quick resolution when a married couple separates. From questions about shared bank accounts and credit cards to housing and income concerns, a freshly divorcing couple will have to address it all. One particularly important issue is the question of child custody, if the couple has children together. Individuals in Florida may be wondering how to handle child custody concerns in the interim, before a legal agreement is created, and also when negotiating a permanent agreement. 

Immediately in the aftermath of the separation, the custody of any children is a kind of no man's land. Each parent has an equal claim to the movement and care of the children, but it is likely to be in the parent's benefit to make a temporary arrangement to keep both parents on the same page. A temporary treaty will allow both individuals to form expectations of where the kids will be and who will be responsible. 

Some methods that may help the families navigate their way through the initial period can be to hash out a temporary agreement that is both flexible and meets the needs of the children. Parents can strive to communicate civilly with one another and attempt to keep the children from being primary message bearers. By thinking of the kids first, parents could be less tempted to uproot children, and may encourage contact with both parents. 

If parents are not able to reach an agreement despite their best efforts, then it may be time to petition for custody in court. The process can take a little bit of time, but the result will be a legally enforceable child custody arrangement. In Florida, individuals have the option to hire an experienced family law attorney for help with this process. 

Source: hawaiiarmyweekly.com, "Child custody is often 'no man's land'", Andrew J. Harman, Nov. 20, 2017

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