The decision for married parents to end their marriage is never an easy one. Both parents have likely played major roles in their child’s life and changes are imminent. In Florida, both parents are expected to continue to be part of their child’s life following a divorce. Generally, both parents have equal responsibility for their child’s safety and well-being. Children should spend time with both parents. Parental time-sharing is a term that has replaced the word “custody.” In the past, custody was awarded to one parent in a divorce, while the other had visitation rights.
Today, the courts recognize that both parents share equal responsibility for their children and both need to spend time with their kids. Time-sharing is an arrangement that provides a schedule that parents follow for spending time with their children following a divorce. This arrangement is also sometimes called joint parenting or joint custody. The children generally reside full-time with one parent and enjoy visitation with the other. Both the custodial and non-custodial parents share decision-making for the children in such areas as education, religion, and medical care.
What is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is a legal document that defines how, when, and where visitation will take place for each parent. Both parents can create the plan during the divorce process and it will become part of the order of the court. The purpose of the plan is to delineate the responsibilities and requirements of each parent following a divorce. You and your spouse can work together to create the document. If your divorce is less than harmonious, you can work through your attorneys to develop a plan that is agreeable to both parties. Once the plan is in place, both you and your former spouse must follow the rules.
What to Include in a Parenting Plan
It is essential to include some critical details in a parenting plan. At a minimum, the plan should include details of how the parents will share the daily parenting tasks, a schedule for visitation, how health-care issues will be managed and paid, where the child will attend school, and how parents should communicate with each other and with the child. The plan should also include a method to resolve disputes between parents if they arise. The more details that you include in the plan the better the plan will work. You need to include information that will guide you now and in the future as your children get older.
An experienced family law attorney will assist you in developing a parenting plan that works well for parents and children. Remember that the welfare of your children is the primary concern that the parenting plan addresses. While you can use a template, you need to make sure that you take all of the current and future matters into consideration to make the plan as detailed as possible. If you are going through a divorce or need to create a parenting plan, you need legal assistance. Contact Henderson Legal Group for a case consultation to discuss your legal needs today.