Can Parents Effectively Share Custody When Living in Different States?
Parents can generally expect additional challenges when raising children from separate homes while sharing custody. The ages and unique personalities of the children come into play when a long distance separates their parents. While Florida courts typically discourage parents from sharing physical custody while living in different states, children can do well with a good parenting plan in place.
A major concern of long-distance parenting involves the different needs between young children and adolescents. According to Psychology Today, children under nine years old typically obtain their security by close contact with and overall reliance on parents. During these years, they may benefit most by having frequent contact with both parents — an impossibility when distance becomes an issue. However, as they gain independence, their expanded world includes a peer group that may seem more important than family. Many adolescents may benefit by remaining in one location over an extended period to form and support important social relationships.
Because of the challenges involved in ensuring the best interests of the children in these situations, the courts are less likely to permit shared custody unless parents develop a long distance parenting plan in Florida that effectively addresses the individual needs of each child. Parents can best predict how each child is likely to respond to this type of dramatic life change. In addition, experienced family attorneys have seen enough similar situations to formulate creative solutions that can address parental concerns. By working together, they can help ensure the best possible outcome for the children.
The attorneys at Weiner & Weiss, LLC strongly encourage parents to reach a negotiated parenting agreement rather than placing these vital decisions in the hands of a judge. With nearly four decades of experience guiding families through the emotionally charged issues of divorce, we have the skills and sensitivity needed to help create parenting plans that the courts can approve.