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Tools for a Successful Florida Child Custody Agreement

Nothing is more important than your children. When faced with a divorce or paternity lawsuit, often the most difficult issues involve the future parenting arrangement. It is easy to spend a tremendous amount of money and energy battling with the other parent over what is best for your children.

There are a number of different factors and strategies to consider when faced with a child custody dispute. The first thing to do is to find what common ground there is between you and the other parent. Look for things that you can agree on. Who is the pediatrician going to be? What school are they to attend? What activities will they participate in? Who, in addition to the parents, will be allowed to transport them? Often if you can agree on some of the small, less important issues, the tone will be set for agreement as to the other more contested issues such as what nights will they spend with each parent.

If there is little common ground and the communication between the parents has become heated, you may wish to involve a child custody evaluator. That is a person with a mental health background who is trained in interviewing children and parents and can identify potential problem issues between the parents which would be harmful to the children. Often in contested child custody cases, the court will order this type of evaluation.

If after seeing the results of a child custody evaluation the parents are unable to reach a parenting agreement, a parenting coordinator may be helpful. This person not only has a background in mental health, but is trained in working with separated parents in the many details of the day to day schedules of children.

A final step may be to involve an expert Florida child custody lawyer who is trained in the art of mediation. This person will assist the lawyers and the parents to try to reach an agreed upon arrangement that is in the best interests of the children and acceptable to the parents.

Bottom Line: Your Florida child custody attorney can help you successfully use the different tools available to reach a child custody agreement.

(copyright Stann Givens 2009)

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An uncontested divorce means that the spouses agree on the division of marital property, alimony, and child custody, support, and visitation. The spouses sign a Marital Settlement Agreement and go to court for a quick hearing to finalize the divorce. The cost of an uncontested Florida divorce is usually minimal. It generally takes 30 days after the parties sign the Marital Settlement Agreement for the court to finalize the uncontested divorce. This time will vary depending on how busy the courthouse is, but an uncontested divorce with both spouse's participation is typically the fastest.
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