One of the most contentious and time-consuming parts of many divorces in Florida is negotiating and arranging a child custody agreement. In many cases, parents fight each other for primary custody of their children and the outcome can vary significantly depending on the situation. Child custody is often determined after the courts look closely at the condition of each parent's finances and living arrangements. They also assess a child's needs, age, gender and comfort in determining which arrangement would ultimately benefit each child involved.
When two people are involved in a custody battle, it is imperative that they prepare for the worst outcome. They should openly acknowledge that they will need to compromise and be flexible in negotiating the terms and conditions of their agreement. They should also be willing to accept that their children may have varying opinions about which parent they would prefer to live with. Acknowledging these facts without internalizing them can help people to feel better prepared going forward.
Livestrong recommends some steps that parents can take when the outcome of their custody hearing is less than they had hoped for. Some of the things they can do include the following:
- They should never gossip about their ex in front of their children.
- They should always keep an open schedule when it is their turn to care for their children.
- They should practice patience throughout the process of arranging custody.
- They should invest in professional therapy for themselves and even their children to help encourage healing in a healthy way.
When divorced parents enter a stepparent role, the American Psychological Foundation suggests that they take their time in getting to know their stepchildren. They should never force their way into the stepchild's life or expect acceptance right away.