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Frequent in-Person Contact with Both Parents Is Essential for Young Children, So Your Plans to Relocate Might Have to Wait Until Your Children Are Older


Have you ever tried to have a phone conversation or video chat session with a toddler?  It isn’t easy.  If you can get the child to pay attention at all, you can only interact with the child when an adult who knows how to operate the phone is acting as an intermediary.  The best-case scenario is that the adult who is in the room with the child can get the child to repeat his or her adorable first words.  Most of the time, the child runs out of the room or fusses for the adult to end the call.  If the adult hands the child, the child will either delete important apps from the phone or get frustrated that your face does not transform into a Peppa Pig video when he clicks the screen.  With young children, video chat is no substitute for in-person interaction.  Therefore, your parenting plan must be appropriate to the children’s ages.  If you have a baby, but your parenting plan does not give you sufficient opportunities to bond with your young child, contact a South Florida child custody lawyer about modifying your parenting plan.

When the Court Orders the Parents to Stay in the Same County Until the Child’s Third Birthday

Shawn and Josette Arthur divorced in 2007, when their daughter was 16 months old.  Their final judgment of dissolution of marriage stipulated that Josette would be the child’s primary residential parent, but it barred her from moving out of Florida until the child’s third birthday.  When Josette requested permission to relocate, the court reiterated the earlier decision that she must wait until the child turned three.  The decision cited several earlier rulings where courts ordered the parents to maintain residences within commuting distance of each other until the children reached a certain age, usually three.

The reasons for this requirement have to do with the children’s development and ability to form a bond with the non-residential parent.  An elementary school-aged child can visit her father every weekend and resume the relationship easily; she can remember that the last time she saw her father was two weeks ago, and she clearly remembers what happened at previous visits.  It is much more difficult for a two-year-old to do this; a toddler will experience separation anxiety when the residential parent drops her off at the non-residential parent’s house.  While the non-residential parent’s house is familiar, the toddler cannot articulate her memories of it.  Therefore, parenting plans for infants and toddlers usually involve shorter, more frequent visits.  For babies less than a year old, the non-residential parent sometimes gets to see the child for a short period, usually between two and four hours, seven days per week.

Let Us Help You Today

Daily video chats are no substitute for daily cuddles when your child is too young to say anything more than individual words.  Contact Boca Raton divorce attorneys at Schwartz | White for help with your case.




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