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Custody Issues Have Moved Past PAS


When it comes to who will have custody of the kids after a divorce, things have evolved significantly over the years. For example, one concept that gained attention in the 1980s was Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), but the lack of scientific basis has courts today less interested in taking PAS assertions seriously.

In most situations, contemporary family law emphasizes discussion, co-parenting plans, and shared parenting for the well-being of the children involved. Talk over what custody arrangement you are hoping to achieve with a West Palm Beach family attorney, then a path forward can be strategized.

PAS Is a Controversial Concept

Introduced by a child psychiatrist, PAS was a way to explain a child’s alleged unjustified rejection or estrangement from one parent in the context of divorce or separation. From here, the concept was used as an argument in custody battles, typically with one parent claiming that the other was intentionally alienating the child from them. Yet over time, PAS has faced criticism for its subjectivity and lack of evidence.

Today, Florida courts recognize the potential for misuse of PAS, as well view the argument suspiciously because there is no scientific basis. In fact, many legal professionals and psychologists argue that PAS is not a recognized mental health disorder, so courts should not rely on it for limiting a parent’s time with their children.

With clear evidence that it is beneficial for a child’s wellbeing to maintain strong relationships with both of their parents in place, courts are now inclined to encourage joint custody arrangements that foster shared parenting responsibilities. The shift in focus acknowledges the unique contributions each parent brings to a child’s life.

Parenting Plans Provide Useful Framework

Family courts encourage parents to work together, and there are tools that can support the process. For instance, co-parenting plans outline the responsibilities and schedules for each parent, aiming to provide stability and continuity for the kids. While your plans may offer information specific to your family, all plans cover key considerations such as visitation schedules, decision-making authority, and communication protocols between parents.

Of course, in order for a co-parenting arrangement to work, open communication and cooperation need to be prioritized. This is not always easy, and while the landscape of custody battles in Florida family law has moved away from contentious battles, parents still benefit from legal support. Seasoned professionals can guide you toward your objectives so you can move into your post-divorce life with clarity and confidence.

Divorce and custody concerns are treated differently now than they were in the past, and it’s important for you to have up-to-date legal guidance when you decide to separate from your spouse. Talk to a West Palm Beach family attorney about crafting the divorce agreement, custody arrangement, and parenting plan you are seeking.

What child custody questions do you have? It is normal to have questions, and professionals can provide you with answers. Bring your inquiries to the legal team at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates. Schedule your free initial consultation today.

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