Four Tips to Protect Children during a Divorce

Jeff Weissman, Attorney pic
Jeff Weissman, Attorney
Image: gwpa.com

Ranked among the American Academy of Trial Attorneys’ Premier 100 Trial Attorneys and a recipient of two Lawyer of the Year awards, Jeffrey A. Weissman is an experienced divorce lawyer in Boca Raton, Florida. Jeff Weissman’s legal services focus on areas of law involving spousal support, equitable distribution, and child custody.

Child custody professionals advise those involved in divorce proceedings to take the following precautions to protect children:

1. Consider litigation alternatives. Choosing a collaborative approach over traditional litigation can quicken the divorce process and may decrease contentiousness, which can limit children’s exposure to confrontational divorce proceedings. Additionally, this allows parents to focus more on co-parenting than legal concerns.

2. Distance children from drama. Never allow your children to see you fight with your ex-spouse, and keep them distanced from intimate details regarding disputes between adults. Avoid expressing negativity against the other parent in their presence, and do not pressure them to release details about their “other home.” Focus instead on the children’s well-being and making the transition easier for them.

3. Avoid loyalty conflicts. Avoid making your child feel as if they need to choose sides during a divorce, and allow them to express emotions about the other parent freely. Possibly the most damaging aspect of parental conflict, making a child choose sides can result in behavioral problems, isolation, and feelings of depression.

4. Communication is key. Maintain constant communication with your children to assure them that the divorce is not their fault. Children often blame themselves for divorce and need regular reminders that they hold no responsibility for the separation.

Advertisements

A Prenuptial Agreement Saves Time and Money in the Event of a Divorce By Jeff Weissman, Attorney, Gladstone & Weissman

A prenuptial agreement protects couples, their interests, and their assets in the event of a divorce. The provisions of the contract, which would be enacted if either spouse chose to dissolve the marriage, include predetermined rules about the preservation of pre-marital property, qualification for and division of marital property, and the amount and duration of spousal support. In addition, a prenuptial agreement can include provisions regarding estate rights and even penalties for infidelity or actions seen as contributing factors in the divorce regardless of whether the parties will be living in a state which adopts a fault or no-fault based system.

Divorce law delineates the allocations of assets from a marriage. A prenuptial agreement customizes the outcome of a divorce; it may also include provisions for children, including educational funding and ongoing support. In Florida and other states, however, custodial and child support provisions of a prenuptial agreement are never per se binding and will be subject to the province of the court. These contracts often minimize the duration of divorce proceedings because many terms of the separation are already established, saving both parties time and aggravation in what is usually an emotionally charged time.

About Jeff Weissman: With a proven record dating back more than 18 years, Jeff Weissman practices family law in Florida. A Partner in the firm Gladstone & Weissman, P.A., he provides capable legal counsel for such actions as divorces and custody cases. Visit GWPA.com for more information about attorney Jeff Weissman.

Parental Relocation

Divorce can trigger the desire for relocation and a fresh start, but divorcees with children must consider several factors before packing their bags. Jeff Weissman is a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, attorney specializing in marital and family law, and clients often seek his counsel because they themselves want to move or because their former spouses have expressed the desire to relocate. Many people do not know where the law stands on parental relocation, and with good reason: The issue is far from black and white.

For example, Florida’s appellate courts initially agreed that a custodial parent was free to move with the children unless there was a residence restriction in the union’s dissolution judgment. A divide emerged when some courts made relocating difficult if the resulting move would violate visitation rights. Many courts found this reason enough to rule against a move, while others felt that issues such as the potential improvement to a child’s quality of life should be considered.

To address these issues, the Florida Supreme Court adopted a new approach in the 1990s that used six criteria to reach a judgment in cases where custodial parents wanted to leave the state. Courts had to consider whether

1. the move was motivated to defeat visitation;
2. the move would improve the general quality of life for both the custodial parent and children;
3. the move was in the child’s best interest;
4. the move was fiscally feasible;
5. the custodial parent would comply with substitute visitation arrangements; and
6. substitute visitation would be sufficient to allow the continued cultivation of a meaningful relationship between the children and the noncustodial parent.

Courts tended to approve such moves, rationalizing that by improving the quality of life for the custodial parent, the child’s life would also benefit. It has become increasingly apparent, however, that substituting visitation schedules detrimentally affects relationships between children and noncustodial parents. Noncustodial parents also had to contend with custodial parents moving without court consent, thus forcing them to try to reverse the move after the fact.

In 2006, a relocation statute co-authored by Mr. Weissman adopted many of the factors mandated earlier by the Supreme Court and added several other factors and criteria for judicial consideration. Through the years, this statute has been further modified and updated to include certain procedural requirements applicable to the moving party and the objecting party. Mr. Weissman has overseen and participated in the discussions regarding the relocation statute and is currently seeking to enact legislation that will clarify and improve upon the legal definition of “relocation.”

Custody arrangements can be difficult to navigate without the support of a knowledgeable attorney like Jeff Weissman. Contact the offices of Gladstone & Weissman, P.A., to learn more about its services.