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West Palm Beach Florida Family Law Blog

What if your co-parent or child resists the visitation schedule?

Recently, we discussed the issue of people who withhold visitation from their co-parents because they aren't meeting their child support obligations. As we noted, support and visitation are two different matters. They're decided separately by courts, with children's best interests in mind. That means one parent can't keep the other parent from court-ordered access to a child because they're behind on child support.

Parents can run into other issues with visitations that may have nothing to do with child support. For example, what if your co-parent doesn't show up for their scheduled visitations? That can be frustrating for you and heartbreaking for your children. You're the one faced with calming your kids and trying to offer some type of explanation that will make them feel better, whether it's true or not.

Divorcing parents of toddlers have unique challenges

Parenting toddlers can be exhausting and frustrating, but also extremely rewarding. They seem to be learning new things every day. They're beginning to comprehend more about the world around them and to explore it within the boundaries set by their parents and other caretakers.

If you're the parent of a toddler and you and your spouse are divorcing, you both have to be conscientious about their needs. Talking to toddlers about divorce is certainly different than explaining it to older kids. They aren't going to understand exactly what divorce means, but they're going to know that their lives have changed. The routine they know is different. Their parents aren't spending as much (or any) time together.

Why you can't deny visitation if your ex won't pay child support

You received primary custody of your children in the divorce, and your co-parent has generous visitation rights. He was ordered to pay child support. However, some months he doesn't pay the full amount or doesn't get around to making a payment until weeks after it was due. He's always got some reason, but you know that he could make the payments if he really wanted to do.

How do you get him to pay up? Many parents withhold visitation rights to the children until they get their money. That's not the solution.

What exactly is an uncontested divorce?

If you and your spouse want to end your marriage and move on, but you do not want to hash things out in court, the good news for you is that you do not have to. There are options for couples who wish to handle the situation quickly, quietly and without all the drama going to court can bring. One option available to Florida residents is the uncontested divorce.

Some couples go into the divorce process knowing exactly what they want to get out of it. They have talked things through and they have a plan for how they want to split their assets, divide time with their children -- if applicable -- and handle any financial support issues. It is these couples who should file for an uncontested divorce.

The importance of a shared journal for co-parents

Many people — particularly men — cringe at the thought of journaling. They think it sounds like something Oprah would tell them to do if they really want to live their best life. However, keeping a journal can help people express and process the myriad thoughts and emotions that can be overwhelming during and after divorce.

If you are co-parenting children, keeping a journal devoted to them can help you and your kids during this time. Some online parenting apps include a journaling platform where co-parents can communicate about their kids and share in their growth without having to communicate directly with one another. They can share the entries they choose to and keep others private.

Do you need a certified divorce financial analyst on your team?

If there are considerable assets at stake in your divorce, friends, colleagues or maybe even your attorney may have recommended hiring a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). CDFAs are advisors who help people make the best possible financial decisions throughout their divorce.

Is it worthwhile to spend money to add a CDFA to your team? The good ones aren't cheap. You could end up paying hundreds of dollars per hour for a CDFA's services. That's why it's crucial to understand what they do and whether having one is a sound investment in your post-divorce future.

Dividing your frequent flyer miles in divorce

Even relatively amicable divorces where there are significant marital assets to be divided can be complicated. As you and your spouse work out who gets what properties, stocks, artwork, jewelry, antiques and good old-fashioned cash, don't neglect what could be a very valuable asset: your frequent flyer miles.

Many people have no idea offhand just how many miles they have. You may have been accumulating them over the years as you and your spouse flew all over the world for business and pleasure as well as through purchases on mileage program credit cards. You may have occasionally dipped into your account to upgrade to first-class for a special vacation or to use your mileage points at hotels or retailers. However, you may still have a balance that will allow you thousands of dollars in free travel. That's worth spending some time looking at during your divorce.

Vocabulary for healthy co-parenting

Co-parenting can be difficult even for divorced spouses who get along. If you and your co-parent still have a strained or even hostile relationship, it may feel impossible at times.

Sometimes, something as simple as the words you use can help improve your relationship with your co-parent. Even if he or she doesn't seem to share your desire for a healthy co-parenting relationship, your words and actions could eventually rub off and also model good behavior for your kids.

What you need to know if a custody evaluation has been ordered

You and your soon-to-be-ex have struggled to work out a custody agreement for your kids that will give you both the time with them and involvement in their lives that you want. However, you can't find common ground. There's too much animosity between you. You have no choice but to let a judge decide the matter.

If a judge wants more information before he or she makes a decision or perhaps one or both parents are arguing that the other one should have only limited custody or visitation, that judge may order a custody evaluation by a mental health professional.

Should my support order change if my finances changed?

As a person who walked through the divorce process, you understand that the end of your marriage can bring significant changes in your life. Simply because the process is final does not mean these changes will also stop. In fact, some Florida readers may find that major life changes continue to happen, even affecting their financial stability.

If your post-divorce circumstances have changed and you find you are no longer able to maintain your financial obligations according to the details of your support order, you have options. There are legal ways to approach these concerns, and it may be possible for you to secure a modification of your support order.

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