A divorce can be really tough for everyone involved, not just you and your spouse. It’s not just about money, property, and alimony–it’s also about taking care of the children. When parents split up, it can make a child’s life pretty uncertain. Child support payments help make things a bit more normal for the child. In Florida, though, where the cost of living is high, it’s important to work out a fair plan to protect the children from any negative effects of your divorce.
At Robert Sparks Attorneys, our Tampa divorce lawyers have lots of experience helping people with child support issues during divorce or when dealing with paternity or changing child support arrangements. We’re serious about giving you good advice and strong support. If you’re going through a divorce in the Tampa area, contact us to set up a one-on-one consultation.
How are Small Children Affected in a Florida Divorce?
Not surprisingly, the impact of a Florida divorce on a younger child is much more significant. While every divorce–and in fact, every child–is different, the changes that come with a divorce are something that a younger child simply can’t understand. Typically, these involve things like:
- Emotional stress – Young children may not fully understand the reasons behind the divorce, but they can still sense the tension and emotional stress between their parents. This can lead to anxiety, confusion, and emotional turmoil.
- Living conditions – A divorce often means changes in where the child lives. They may have to move between two households, which can be unsettling and disrupt their sense of stability.
- Parenting time – The division of parenting time or custody arrangements can be challenging for small children. They may miss one parent when with the other, and this can be emotionally difficult for them.
- Financial impact – A divorce can also have financial implications. The child’s standard of living may change, and they may have to adapt to a different lifestyle.
- Being exposed to conflict – Ongoing conflicts between parents can have a negative impact on children. Witnessing arguments or disputes can be distressing for small children.
- Changes in their routine – Divorce can disrupt a child’s daily routine, which can be especially unsettling for small children who thrive on stability and predictability. This is especially true if the child has to change schools, which can also impact them academically
- Adjusting to two households – Small children may need time to adjust to the different rules, routines, and expectations in two separate households.
- Breakdown in communication – In some cases, communication breakdown between parents can make it challenging for the child to maintain a relationship with both parents.
At any time, but especially during a divorce, it’s really important for parents and caregivers to be there for children emotionally, talk openly with them, and keep their lives as stable as possible during. With that said, there are legal implications during a divorce that will decide some of these issues for the child.
Florida Divorce Laws and Small Children
In terms of legalities, there are a number of issues in a divorce that will also impact a young child. Overall, the court will base their decisions on:
- The best interests of the children
While there’s some wiggle room there and circumstances vary across different families, the law in Florida establishes guidelines for these issues:
- Child custody – In Florida, divorcing parents are required to create a parenting plan to set up how custody will be determined. This plan outlines how they will share responsibilities for the child, including time-sharing and decision-making authority.
- Child support – Florida has guidelines for calculating child support. The court makes sure that the child receives the financial support they need for their well-being, considering factors like the parents’ income and the child’s expenses, school, and medical needs.
Florida divorce laws aim to protect the rights of children by ensuring their physical, emotional, and financial needs are met during and after divorce. The courts aim to create arrangements that provide stability and support for the child, keeping their best interests at the forefront. However, there are other factors at play with small children in a Florida divorce:
- Stability – The court checks which parent can give the child a safe and consistent place to live. This means a regular daily schedule and being in a place the child knows well, which is important for little kids.
- Emotional and physical well-being – The court makes sure both parents are mentally and physically healthy and can take care of the child’s feelings and physical needs.
- School and community – The court looks at the child’s school and friends in the area. They think about how moving might affect the child’s school and friends.
- Siblings – If the child has siblings, the court wants to keep them together in one home if possible, so they can stay close.
- Special needs – If the child has unique needs or requires special care, the court considers this when deciding on custody and support.
- Parental history – The court looks at what each parent has done in the past to take care of the child and how involved they’ve been.
- Willingness to work together – The court checks if each parent is willing and able to get along and work together on things related to the child.
- Parent relocation – If one parent wants to move, the court thinks about why and how it might affect the child’s relationships and routines.
Florida family courts aim to ensure that the child’s best interests are the top priority when making decisions related to custody, visitation, and child support during a divorce. The specific circumstances of each case play a significant role in determining the outcome. That’s why it’s important to work with our team of experienced Tampa divorce lawyers, so you can make sure your child’s interests are protected.
Contact Robert Sparks Attorneys For a Consultation
If you’re dealing with a divorce in Tampa or anywhere else in Florida, it can be really challenging for everyone in your family, but especially for your children. If you need help with child support or custody issues as it relates to your younger children, contact our dedicated Tampa divorce lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys. We’re serious about supporting you and your family.