South Florida Family Law Attorneys in Weston and Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Kids Need Support and Time to Heal During a Divorce
Many times people who are considering a divorce have the attitude that “Kids are strong, they can handle it.” But too often children are not strong, and they suffer greatly as their world is transformed into a new and different place they may not care for.
Florida Statute 61.21 states, in part: “A large number of children experience the separation or divorce of their parents each year. Parental conflict related to divorce is a societal concern because children suffer potential short-term and long-term detrimental economic, emotional, and educational effects during this difficult period of family transition. This is particularly true when parents engage in lengthy legal conflict.”
The Statute also describes the value of a parenting course: “Parents who are separating or divorcing are more likely to receive maximum benefit from a program if they attend such program at the earliest stages of their dispute, before extensive litigation occurs and adversarial positions are assumed or intensified.”
It’s very important to make the transition from being married to being divorced with children in mind. Disagreements about money, visitation, and other issues should always be between the adults and not spill over to the children.
One of the most common things that happens during a divorce when there are minor children is parental alienation. Under Florida law, anything intentionally said or done to hurt a child’s relationship with the other parent can be considered parental alienation. Although parental alienation is not a crime and will not usually result in criminal penalties in Florida, it can affect a family court’s decision regarding child custody.
People should be aware that most judges will not tolerate parental alienation and parents who engage in it after warning risk the possibility of serious penalties.
Two of the most severe consequences of alienation upon the child are fearfulness and low self-esteem, and these effects can continue into adulthood. Basically, the longer the alienation has persisted, the more damage to the parent-relationship, and treatment will be required to correct the situation.
If you are involved in a divorce and there are children involved you may be tempted to try to influence them against your spouse. Please follow this guideline: Don’t do it. Child psychologists unanimously agree that this practice is dangerous and unacceptable.
Counseling is an excellent option to help parents and children work through a divorce and the uncomfortable issues that almost always accompany it. Family Law attorneys are experienced with counselors who can help parents and children with feelings of anxiety about all the changes that come with divorce.
If you have questions about divorce, children’s issues related to divorce including parental alienation, the Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus is willing to set up a consultation to help with answers. We are available 7 days a week by calling 954-356-0006.