On top of the stress that divorce can create for both spouses involved, making arrangements for children is an entirely different matter. Sometimes, spouses may decide to live in different states, or make other major life changes that can significantly alter the lives of children. As with most states, Florida’s courts see countless men and women who simply cannot agree on child custody arrangements.
While most couples can come to an agreement regarding child custody at some point in the divorce, the process can take months to work through, and children are the members of the family who are the most affected. Florida’s laws are continuously changing to best meet the needs of divorcing couples and their children.
A Change in Procedure
First Coast News reported on the 2016 Florida bill that sought to promote equal child custody in divorce — a bill that passed later that year. According to First Coast, the bill maintained that judges must consider equal custody of children in divorce cases. Experts weighed in on this change in normal divorce procedures, noting that children need the support of both parents to lead healthy and successful lives. When children do not have stable lifestyles, First Coast reiterates that they have higher chances of developing behavioral issues down the road. As for former cases of child custody disputes, the article also discloses that the law could force couples back to court for retroactive examination.
A Long Way to Go
2016 was a successful year in regards to Florida’s child custody laws, but the Gainsville Sun reminds its readers that the state still has a long way to go. Although Florida lawmakers now make collaborative divorce easier for spouses who seek an alternative way to settle disputes, the Sun points out that these types of divorces typically cost around $20,000, and thus are not widely accessible. One solution to this issue of exclusivity could begin with the state’s high court, which would potentially form commissions in which experts could assist Floridians in need of child custody assistance.