No matter how detailed your custody agreement is, if you and your co-parent are sharing custody of your children after divorce, there will be times when the parent who's supposed to have the kids on a designated day (or days) can't fulfill that commitment. Work and other family obligations sometimes make it impossible to care for the kids when you're supposed to.
Many divorced parents deal with the issue of relocation at some point. Here in Florida, if the parent who has primary custody of the children wants to move more than 50 miles away, they need to get the other parent's approval. If that parent doesn't give their authorization, they can take the matter to court.
If you and your spouse are in the process of negotiating your child custody agreement, it's essential to include holidays. Most parents focus on the "big" holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's because the kids are out of school, and those holidays tend to involve family gatherings. However, it's essential to look at the entire calendar.
If you're facing your first holiday season as a divorced parent, you're likely experiencing a mix of emotions. Even if this isn't your first December as a part-time single parent, the idea of not being with your kids for all of their holiday celebrations can be difficult. There are things you can do to make things easier for yourself and your children.
Not long ago, we talked about how parents in recovery can work to get back parental rights and access they were denied because of their problems with alcohol. Greater custody and visitation rights, however, mean learning how to parent children whose trust you may have lost and who may have suffered emotional damage because of your drinking.
Child custody agreements are often changed by the courts and parents as circumstances change and as children get older and their needs evolve. Two terms that often get confused are "appeal" and "modification." It's important to know the difference.
If your drinking and/or drug use contributed to the end of your marriage and a fractured relationship with your children, you're certainly not alone. However, many people with substance abuse problems need critical events like those to be the impetus for them to seek help.
Shared custody is becoming increasingly common for divorced parents. There are many positives for children in having both parents involved in their lives. However, the transition between homes, whether it's every few days, once a week or on some other schedule outlined in your custody (or "time sharing," as it's called in Florida) agreement, can be difficult for children -- particularly in the beginning.
One custody option that some parents with multiple children choose after divorce is called "split custody" or "divided custody." It's when each parent takes primary physical custody of one or more of their children, so the siblings aren't living together.
Your ex-spouse has met the new love of their life. Maybe they're engaged. Perhaps the new significant other is living with your ex. Either way, this person is now going to be part of your children's lives -- and yours.