In our current society, with more accepting and less judgmental attitudes, many couples in committed relationships are deciding to have children with no intention of ever getting married. When parents in these circumstances no longer wish to be together, they can end their relationship without addressing the marital issues that are involved in a typical divorce. However, the children still need to be provided for in a way that protects their best interests, and even if the parties agree on the paternity of the child (i.e. who is the father), Florida law still requires the parents to take certain steps to have the father recognized as the “legal” father, with the resultant rights to and responsibilities for the children.
Family mediation can be a wonderful vehicle for the parents to amicably end their romantic relationship, while achieving an agreement that provides a healthful and nurturing co-parenting situation for the children. Such an agreement would include parental responsibility, or which parent may make the ultimate decisions on important issues involving the children, a timesharing schedule that allows the children to have a meaningful and continuing relationship with both parents, and child support, which is a statutory formula that is primarily based on the parents’ incomes and the number of overnights the children spend with each parent.
When the parents are able to work out these issues without litigation and courtroom battles, it generally results in a healthier overall environment for the children, and allows both parents to move forward with an attitude that promotes cooperative co-parenting, which is obviously in the best interest of the children.
If you are facing these issues, please contact us to discuss how family mediation can help you avoid litigation and expensive attorneys’ fees, and achieve a result that is in everyone’s best interest, especially your children.
Contact us at (239)529-3549 or visit our website www.healthyfamilymediation.com for a free consultation.