Families have changed significantly over the years and, as a result, their needs in relation to family law issues have also shifted. For example, legal terms such as child custody and visitation are not used in Florida. Instead, divorcing parents create parenting plans that reflect the best interests of their children.
Parenting plans can help foster an increased sense of responsibility between both parents during a divorce. While state law requires that parents complete a parenting class before a divorce can be finalized, creating a parenting plan is something that a couple can do on their own through various means. Negotiating a parenting plan is usually a popular option, as parents typically have a better understanding of what is best for their child, but mediation with an impartial third party can prove to be a viable alternative.
The details within the parenting plan must address at least four specific aspects of parenting post-divorce. These include a time-sharing schedule that outlines with which parent a child will be and when, who is responsible for filling out important legal forms and how daily parenting tasks will be shared. There must also be a clear understanding of what lines of communication will be used when children need to contact their parents.
Parenting today looks much different than it did perhaps as little as 20 years ago. In general, fathers are more involved in the hands-on act of parenting and more mothers take on work outside of the home. These shifting factors in life also affect how child custody is established, the terms used in Florida family law settings, and how parents now approach the process.