The Virginia State Bar’s Family Law Section has produced a video which discusses the impact of divorce on children and how parents can go about easing the transition. The video, entitled “Spare the Child,” utilizes personal stories and everyday language to promote the emotional well-being of children as they go through a family law proceeding. You may access the video after the jump (click “continue reading”):
Tag Archive for: parental responsibility
The Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (known as the “UCCJEA”) is the body of law that provides Florida courts with authority to rule on issues of child custody. In virtually every family law proceeding that involves child custody–including divorce, paternity, and relocation–each party is required to file an affidavit that contains certain information and demonstrates to the court that it has jurisdiction over the child. This UCCJEA affidavit must include the following information:
- The current address of the child;
- Each address at which the child has lived during the past five years;
Definitions.—As used in this part, the term:
(1)“Abandoned” means left without provision for reasonable and necessary care or supervision.
(2)“Child” means an individual who has not attained 18 years of age.
(3)“Child custody determination” means a judgment, decree, or other order of a court providing for the legal custody, physical custody, residential care, or visitation with respect to a child. The term includes a permanent, temporary, initial, and modification order. The term does not include an order relating to child support or other monetary obligation of an individual.
(4)“Child custody proceeding” means a proceeding in which legal custody, physical custody, residential care, or visitation with respect to a child is an issue. The term includes a proceeding for divorce, separation, neglect, abuse, dependency, guardianship, paternity, termination of parental rights, and protection from domestic violence, in which the issue may appear. The term does not include a proceeding involving juvenile delinquency, contractual emancipation, or enforcement under ss. 61.524-61.540.
(5)“Commencement” means the filing of the first pleading in a proceeding.
(6)“Court” means an entity authorized under the laws of a state to establish, enforce, or modify a child custody determination.
(7)“Home state” means the state in which a child lived with a parent or a person acting as a parent for at least 6 consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding. In the case of a child younger than 6 months of age, the term means the state in which the child lived from birth with any of the persons mentioned. A period of temporary absence of any of the mentioned persons is part of the period.
(8)“Initial determination” means the first child custody determination concerning a particular child.
(9)“Issuing court” means the court that makes a child custody determination for which enforcement is sought under this part.
(10)“Issuing state” means the state in which a child custody determination is made.
(11)“Modification” means a child custody determination that changes, replaces, supersedes, or is otherwise made after a previous determination concerning the same child, regardless of whether it is made by the court that made the previous determination.
(12)“Person” means an individual, corporation, business trust, estate, trust, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, or government; governmental subdivision, agency, instrumentality, or public corporation; or any other legal or commercial entity.
(13)“Person acting as a parent” means a person, other than a parent, who:
(a)Has physical custody of the child or has had physical custody for a period of 6 consecutive months, including any temporary absence, within 1 year immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding; and
(b)Has been awarded a child-custody determination by a court or claims a right to a child-custody determination under the laws of this state.
(14)“Physical custody” means the physical care and supervision of a child.
(15)“State” means a state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.
(16)“Tribe” means an Indian tribe, or band, or Alaskan Native village that is recognized by federal law or formally acknowledged by a state.
(17)“Warrant” means an order issued by a court authorizing law enforcement officers to take physical custody of a child.
History.—s. 5, ch. 2002-65.
I just came across an article that discusses a study from Florida State University researchers about how divorce affects a child’s future relationships. The researchers conclude that children of divorced parents are more likely to become divorced themselves for a myriad of reasons, including the fact that children learn relationship skills from their parents. The article states the following:
An article from Time Magazine recounts some horror stories and tales of caution emanating from the use of Facebook and other social networking sites.
A good general rule: don’t post anything that you would be embarrassed to have your grandmother see. This includes the following:
- Don’t harass the other party;
- Ensure that your friends are not harassing the other party;
- Don’t post negative comments about the other party on your profile page, and ask others to avoid the same;
Section 61.21 of the Florida Statutes requires each party in a case that involves children and custody/time-sharing issues to attend a four-hour parenting course. This “Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course” gives parents the opportunity to learn about, among other topics, how their court action may affect the emotional well-being of their children.
You should note that, except in very limited circumstances, a judge will not enter a final judgment until both parties have (i) attended the course and (ii) filed a certificate of completion with the clerk of the court.
For the latest version of this statute, go to http://www.leg.state.fl.us.
Court-ordered parenting plan; risk of violation; bond.—
(1)In any proceeding in which the court enters a parenting plan, including a time-sharing schedule, including in a modification proceeding, upon the presentation of competent substantial evidence that there is a risk that one party may violate the court’s parenting plan by removing a child from this state or country or by concealing the whereabouts of a child, upon stipulation of the parties, upon the motion of another individual or entity having a right under the law of this state, or if the court finds evidence that establishes credible risk of removal of the child, the court may:
(a)Order that a parent may not remove the child from this state without the notarized written permission of both parents or further court order; Read more
For the latest version of this statute, visit http://www.leg.state.fl.us.
Guardians ad litem; confidentiality.—The guardian ad litem shall maintain as confidential all information and documents received from any source described in s. 61.403(2) and may not disclose such information or documents except, in the guardian ad litem’s discretion, in a report to the court, served upon both parties to the action and their counsel or as directed by the court.
Guardians ad litem; powers and authority.—A guardian ad litem when appointed shall act as next friend of the child, investigator or evaluator, not as attorney or advocate but shall act in the child’s best interest. A guardian ad litem shall have the powers, privileges, and responsibilities to the extent necessary to advance the best interest of the child, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1)The guardian ad litem may investigate the allegations of the pleadings affecting the child, and, after proper notice to interested parties to the litigation and subject to conditions set by the court, may interview the child, witnesses, or any other person having information concerning the welfare of the child. Read more
Qualifications of guardians ad litem.—
(1)A person appointed as a guardian ad litem pursuant to s. 61.401 must be:
(a)Certified by the Guardian Ad Litem Program pursuant to s. 39.821;
(b)Certified by a not-for-profit legal aid organization as defined in s. 68.096; or
(c)An attorney who is a member in good standing of The Florida Bar. Read more
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