Florida parents who divorce might want to address a number of issues in a written parenting agreement. Among these are how stepparents and new partners will be handled, discipline, education and health care. Parents should also consider including a plan to work out any problems that arise between them.

Above all, parents must prioritize their children. While they may be dealing with painful emotions, these should not be shared with the children. This includes speaking negatively about the other parent when the children are around. Parents must also strive to trust one another. For example, if one parent is struggling with lateness or making choices the other parent does not agree with, the other parent must assume that their ex-spouse is still operating in good faith.

Coparenting can be a struggle, but it is important that both parents make an effort to continue participating in their child’s life. This allows the child to feel loved and secure. Parents should avoid the temptation to use the children as messengers between them and their former spouse. Friends or therapists may be able to provide support if necessary, but the needs of the children must always come first.

In a contentious divorce, parents might think they need to go to court and have a judge make a decision about child custody and visitation. However, the disadvantage of this approach is that parents might be unhappy with the judge’s decision but might not be able to change it. A parent might be able to work with an attorney from a Venice, Florida, child custody law firm, their ex-spouse, and their ex-spouse’s lawyer to come to at least a partial agreement on some aspects of visitation and custody. A judge would then review the case and make a decision that’s in the child’s best interests.