Dividing up property and debts in a divorce may prove easier than trying to divide your time with the kids. Divorce, where people have children in common, requires a parenting plan before a judge will sign off the final paperwork.
Florida family law judges look at parenting plans with an eye toward what is in the best interests of the children. These three elements should go into your parenting plan.
1. What is the custody arrangement?
Two custody issues need addressing during a divorce. Legal custody determines who can make medical and legal decisions for the children, and physical custody delineates where the children will live.
Judges prefer both parents share legal custody, so both have an equal say, but this is not always feasible. The parenting plan should include this and then the plan about how you and the other parent will share physical custody or visitation.
2. Where will the children reside on any given day?
The visitation agreement falls into the center of the parenting plan. It is a schedule that alerts the court as to the children’s whereabouts daily. Depending on how the schedule works, you and your ex may split custody evenly or not.
3. What happens if a change becomes necessary?
The parenting plan should go through the process of changing any part of the plan. Most notably, the parenting time schedule and how you and your ex will handle those changes. If you cannot make these decisions amicably, you may need a third party’s assistance.
If you and your spouse can compromise your way through, it may help you maintain control over how you parent your children going forward. Otherwise, the court will set a schedule as it sees fit.