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Child Custody Factor #13. Divorce and paternity judges consider the demonstrated capacity of each parent to communicate with and keep the other parent informed of issues and activities regarding the minor child, and the willingness of each parent to adopt a unified front of all major issues when dealing with the child when making a child custody determination.

The family law judge will look at whether each parent shared information with the other parent related to the health, education, and welfare of the child. In addition, the judge will consider whether each parent provided the name and contact information of the other parent to any providers whether it be a health care provider, the child’s school or an extra-curricular group. This is especially important when an emergency contact is requested by the provider. If you are involved in a contested child custody case and the other side is not providing this information, subpoena the records custodians of the providers to your court hearing and request that they bring the relevant documents.

If one parent receives a record or report directly from the school or health care provider, that parent should provide a copy to the other parent. To avoid forgetting, simply take a picture and immediately text a copy to the other parent. This will also give you proof on your telephone that you are sharing relevant information with the other parent.

Each parent should provide a residential, mailing, and contact address and contact telephone number to the other parent, absent a Court order that it is unsafe for the parent to release this information. If you move either during or after your divorce or paternity case and reside in the State of Florida, you should fill out a change of address form and file it with the family court.

This 20 part series tracks what judges are required to consider when making child custody and parenting plan determinations to help parents focus on what is relevant to the court to effectively present their divorce, paternity or modification case. To learn more, see Factors 1 to 12