The decision to divorce doesn't necessarily mean that you and your spouse will be locked in a contentious court battle for months on end. To the contrary, it is often quite possible to secure a swift and amicable settlement. Like most Florida parents in similar situations, one of your highest priorities is making sure your children's best interests are a central focus of your divorce proceedings.
As long as you and your spouse are able to engage in non-confrontational discussion, you may be able to proactively employ several practical ideas to help you forge a fair and agreeable co-parenting plan as you make plans for a new lifestyle with your kids. Even if you get along well with your soon-to-be ex, complex issues may arise that are difficult to resolve; therefore, it's always a good idea to know where to seek support.
Compromise is a key factor to success
Your children may fare better when you divorce if they witness you and their other parent willing to cooperate and compromise with each other for their sake. The following list includes ways to implement this idea:
- If it doesn't really matter to you whether you spend one holiday or another with your kids but it seems to be quite important to your ex, it might help you avoid a lot of stress if you simply agree to allow the other parent to choose rather than haggle over something you don't feel strongly about.
- In order to determine where compromise is plausible, you need to clearly express your needs but also be willing to ask about and listen to your spouse's needs.
- If there is a particular event or annual day that you and your spouse both want to share with your kids, perhaps you can agree to alternate years or to split a single day between you, meaning that your spouse spends half of the special day with your children, then you get them for the other half.
- If you both want to avoid going to court but need help to negotiate your compromises, you can research the mediation process to see if it's something you might want to try.
Sometimes, emotions get in the way of finding viable solutions to divorce-related problems, especially concerning children. Rather than risk becoming gridlocked, it may be better to take a break and agree to meet again in the near future, so that each of you has a chance to clear his or her thoughts and come back to the negotiation table, ready to start afresh.
The ultimate goal
There is no such thing as a perfect divorce. You are likely to encounter various challenges along the way, even after the court issues a decree. The good news is that you can reach out for support at any time from someone well-versed in Florida family law, who can advocate on your behalf or facilitate mediated discussion sessions so that you can arrange a co-parenting plan that keeps your children's best interests in mind and helps your family adapt to a new lifestyle.