Children’s Rights in Divorce
When parents have relationship problems, children can suffer as a result. During the difficult process of going through a divorce and the ensuing child time sharing proceedings, your child’s feelings about the situation can easily end up being overshadowed by the conflict between you and your spouse and the stress you both are experiencing. While this is common and even understandable, it is important to make the conscious decision to protect your child and their rights during this difficult time.
Protecting Your Child’s Rights in Time Sharing Proceedings
While people talk about putting their children first during times of trouble and major life changes, the fact is the complexity of these different situations and the pain or stress you are experiencing can easily distract you from this goal. According to Psychology Today, this is particularly true in cases involving divorce. To help you avoid making this mistake, it is important to assert the rights your child has in this situation:
The Right to Have a Relationship With Both Parents
Children have the right to continue a close and loving relationship with both parents, which is something the court supports during child time sharing proceedings. This often involves accepting that while the relationship between you and your spouse did not work out, they can still be a loving and attentive parent to your child.
Be careful of not trying to put a wedge in this relationship. Avoid exposing your child to fighting, using them as a sounding board, or saying negative things about your spouse in front of them.
The Right to Have Their Own Needs Respected
Under Florida’s child time sharing statutes, you will need to submit a parenting plan detailing arrangements regarding your child in the aftermath of your divorce. When making these plans, be sure to keep your child’s individual needs and their schedule in mind. Aim for the least amount of disruptions in their school, recreational, and social activities. Make sure they have a comfortable space of their own at each parent’s home and time to enjoy their own individual pursuits.
The Right to Their Own Feelings About the Divorce
Divorce is a dramatic and life changing event. In addition to your own complex feelings, it is important to be sympathetic to what your child is experiencing. Allow them to voice their concerns and feelings, which may include sadness, anger, and frustration with both you and your spouse. Realize that they will likely require an adjustment period and may act out in school or at home. While this can be frightening and is likely to increase your own stress levels, providing loving support can help them to eventually adjust to the situation.
Let Us Help You Today
Fort Lauderdale child custody and time sharing attorney Vanessa L. Prieto acts as a strong advocate on behalf of both parents and children during divorce proceedings. Get the legal guidance and support you need during this difficult time and contact our office to request a consultation today.