Change is coming!
by T R Caggiano
In Florida many laws have changed concerning the whole custody debate. For starters, the parents are not in charge, but rather the kids. Let me explain. Before the mom would get the kids and the dad would receive the bill, now it is not what the parents want in time and funds, but the kids who dictate where they are going and for how long.
In Florida they do not use the word, "Visitation," but rather Time-sharing and a parenting plan has to be filled out between the two parents. The notion that two people get a divorce and use the children for ransom is gone. Now 50/50 with no child support; one week with dad and he pays the bills for that week and one week with mom and she covers the bills for that week. There are special provisions and the health insurance thing needs to get worked out. No longer all the other stuff that just waste the courts time and hurts the children in the long run.
So you ask about school, well dad or mom might have to drive the kids to school and pick them up if the bus does not drive to there side of town, but that's not a deciding factor. The kids are not divorcing their parents so why do they have to act like they are. The old system of child visitation and support makes the children divorce various members of their family and that is not fair to them. The kids are loving everyone and probably do not understand why dad or mom is moving out, so why should they suffer more than they ought to? Flexibility and understanding that the time is the kids not the parents helps to put into perspective. It is the kids time, what do they want to do with it?
Don't forget the cousins and grandparents either, they are all part of the family and every is going to be involved. On the Seminole county clerk of court Website there is a parenting plan
(http://www.flcourts18.org/PDF/Family/Parenting_Plan_Seminole.pdf) and other info, I think that anyone getting a divorce should take a look at this revolutionary way to help with the children involved with the parents divorce. I believe if you go into court not worried about yourself and mention the kids desires to the judge, you might get along a whole lot better.
Children are not ransom or bargaining tools, they are people with feelings and they love you very much. Don't treat them as a way to get even or back at the other. For those with spouses who wont let the other see or talk to the children, Florida also has changed that. It is a 3rd degree felony: interference with custody. The one holding the kids away from the other has to prove a very good reason to hold back contact from the children and the other parent.
Sometimes it will be necessary, but if it actually needed to protect the kids, the parent holding the kids has 10 days to make a police report about it. If the report is then bogus or made up, as the judge finds it to be a bunch of garbage, contempt and perjury charges will be awarded. Remember it is not the kids fault of why two adults can't get along, so why are they being punished. I hope to tell you more, for I am battling again, with the same person, but this time I am glad the rules have changed for the better, with the kids being in charge!