Keeping Focused on Your Children During Your Divorce
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), in recognition of the fact that the primary goal of any divorce should be to place the children’s needs first, has published a recent article that discusses how to achieve this goal. According to James McLaren, AAML President, while most parents would acknowledge that protecting their children’s interests is paramount, doing so can be a very difficult and complex task. As a result, the AAML has produced a publication designed to help parents with this endeavor, which is called “Child Centered Residential Guidelines.” By following these guidelines, parents can learn how to divide time with their kids that works best in their particular situation.
Defining the Best Interest of the Child
Most states use a legal standard of “best interest of the child” in order to determine the best custody and access time for children in a divorce or paternity case. The AAML has used that standard, and the factors that typically contribute to it, in order to draft model child-centered residential guidelines that potentially could be utilized nationwide. The overall goal of these guidelines is to not only focus on the best interest of the child, but to reduce parental conflict as much as possible regarding sharing time with the children. Each specific parenting plan model is geared toward considering the age, temperament, maturity level, and special needs of the child, previous schedules for caretaking, and the child’s relationship with each parent. By following these guidelines, the hope is that the child will seamlessly transition from one parent’s care to the other, with the parents being able to communicate about the child as needed during the transition period. This focus on communication eliminates the need for the child to act as the go-between or messenger for necessary information.
Moving Toward a More Child-Focused Parenting Plan
While certain factors such as the parents’ respective work schedules must be taken into account when crafting a parenting plan, the main focus should always remain on the child and what is best for him or her. The AAML guidelines offer several different sample parenting plans that can be tailored to meet a particular family’s needs; there is no requirement that parents agree to adopt a sample plan verbatim. Rather, enough flexibility is built into these plans to allow for unique or special circumstances that only impact your family. Recommended parenting plans or guidelines exist in every state, although the provisions of those plans do vary from one state to the next. The idea is for uniform guidelines to do just that – guide parents into creating their own personal parenting plan that is best for their child.
At the Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, we provide excellent legal services at a rate that you can afford. We routinely handle all aspects of Florida divorce law, in all types of situations. We know how important your children are to you, and know how much you want to protect them from the stress of your divorce. We have represented many clients in Florida divorces, and we know what it takes to achieve our client’s objectives, including protecting your children. Please contact your Florida divorce lawyer by calling 954-800-2362, or fill out the online form located on our website.