As a Florida parent, you know that child custody is one of the most complex aspects of a divorce. Parenting time, parental rights and your emotional connection with your children are worth protecting, and the terms of your parenting plan will affect your life for many years. Your parenting plan is important, and it is worth ensuring it is thoughtful, thorough and reasonable.
Mistakes, emotionally driven decisions and omissions can lead to complications for you and your co-parent. If you are considering working on the terms of your plan out of court, you would be prudent to take specific steps to ensure the protection of your rights and the best interests of your children. With guidance and thoughtful consideration of the long-term impact of the choices you make, you can have a parenting plan that works for your family for years to come.
The details of a workable plan
When it comes to child custody plans, it is beneficial to be as detailed as possible in the terms you include. No one knows your family like you do, and you have the right to make sure you get to decide what happens, not an impersonal family law judge. Every family and situation is unique, and you have the right to craft your plan to suit your needs and the needs of your children. You may consider including the following as part of your plan:
- How parents will share time with their kids, including visitation and overnight visits
- Drop-off and pick-up procedures
- How you and your co-parent will handle attendance at extracurricular activities
- How the parents will split time over the holidays, including summer vacation
- Whether or not extended family members on either side will have access to children
- Legal custody, which is the right to make decisions on behalf of the child
- How parents will deal with any future disputes in a reasonable manner
These are just a few of the details you may find helpful to include as part of your parenting plan. As you work on a plan that will affect your family for years to come, you may find it helpful to seek experienced help.
The future of your family
There is a lot at stake for you as a parent during divorce. The ultimate goal of any custody and visitation plan should be the best interests of the kids, but you are entitled to seek an order that respects your parental rights as well. When your access to your kids and your role in their lives is on the line, you may find it helpful to have a strong legal ally by your side.