When Florida parents divorce, one of the most important topics of debate involves the care and custody of shared children. In many cases, parents are able to work out a child custody agreement outside of court. Sometimes, however, the matter makes its way before a family court judge, and a custody determination is made that all parties must abide by.
In both instances, one common condition within a child custody agreement is that neither parent has overnight visits with romantic partners while they have the child or children in their care, unless they are married to that individual. This stipulation may be intended to protect children from being exposed to their parents’ new partners. However, having this type of requirement in place can lead to long-term difficulties once a mother of father enters into a committed relationship.
The matter recently came before one State Supreme Court, which was asked to rule on a court order that prohibited a father from having overnight visits with his son if his partner of five years was also within the home. The man’s girlfriend also lived within the home, but was not allowed to be in her own home during overnight visits. The lower court found that the woman was in no way a danger or posed a threat to the child.
In ruling that the state has no right to impose a blanket rule over how parents can live their lives after a divorce, the outcome of this case is being viewed as a victory for parents. The case has been sent back down to the lower court, which will have to rule on the matter based solely on what is in the best interests of the child. Parents in Florida who are facing similar restrictions on their ability to have both a committed relationship and access to their children will likely continue to follow the child custody case.
Source: mymonticellonews.net, State Supreme Court nixes restrictions in child custody case, No author, Nov. 27, 2013