Though you may struggle to keep your emotions in check during your divorce, it is important that you do for your children’s sake. Many parents fail to conduct themselves in a way that promotes the best interests and overall well-being of the children, which can have a detrimental effect on children of divorce in the long run.
Florida law prioritizes the best interests of children above all else in divorce proceedings. As a result, the Florida Bar created the consumer pamphlet on divorce and child custody, a document that outlines parents’ duties.
The duty to share the rights, responsibilities and joys of child rearing
Florida maintains the stance that children of divorce have the right to continued and frequent contact with both parents upon the dissolution of marriage or separation. It encourages all parents to share the rights, responsibilities and joys of parenting regardless of their feelings toward one another, and to promote a positive relationship between the children and the other parent. The state does not show a bias for or against one parent merely because of gender.
The duty to promote love and respect between the children and the other parent
It is not uncommon for parties of divorce to try to interfere with their children’s relationship with the other parent and to force them to “choose sides.” Florida policy explicitly states that parents may not do this, and that divorcees have an obligation to ensure their children enjoy unhampered contact with both parents.
Parents should not disparage one another in front of the children or attempt to influence the level of love and respect they have toward each. The courts discourage divorcees from doing anything that would injure the children’s opinions of either party or that would estrange the children from either parent. Each parent must do the opposite: He or she must make reasonable efforts to facilitate communication between the children and the other parent and even go so far as to encourage it.
If face-to-face contact is not possible for whatever reason, the courts may order electronic parent-child communication. Parents should not use this type of communication to supplement actual parenting time.