Five Important Elements in Your Tampa, Florida Parenting Plan
If you are divorcing your spouse and you have minor children together, creating a parenting plan is an important part of the process. Parenting plans outline how you and your spouse will co-parent post-divorce, and any details included in the plan must reflect the best interests of the child. Ideally, parents agree to the different aspects of the plan and can create one without the need to appear in court. Still, a family law judge will have to approve the plan and make it final; however there is usually no problem with obtaining the approval of the court as long as the parties agree to it and it is in the best interest of the child. Our Tampa divorce attorney explains that it is important to include the five following elements in a parenting plan.
1. Child Custody & Visitation – Timesharing Schedule
One of the most important elements of any parenting plan is specifically outlining the regular timesharing schedule. For example, if you mainly work on the weekends and the other parent only works during the week, it may make the most sense for the child to stay with you during the week and to spend weekends with their other parent. So within your parenting plan, outline the exact dates and times where the child will stay during the week and the weekends, including who will pick up and drop off and where the pick up and drop off will occur.
2. Special Event Timesharing Schedule
The regular child custody and visitation schedule will make up the bulk of the parenting plan. However, it is just as important to include special events in your plan. Outline specific plans for which parent your child will spend special events with, such as birthdays, holidays, and extracurricular activities.
3. Decision-Making Authority
After divorce, there are still many important decisions that need to be made for your child. Your parenting plan should also clearly indicate which parent will be responsible for making these decisions to avoid confusion. You and your spouse can also choose to share decision-making authority, if you think you will be able to work together. For example, you may decide on all discipline and education issues, while your spouse makes all religious and medical care decisions.
4. Methods of Communication
Your parenting plan should also include how you and your spouse will communicate with each other when an issue or dispute arises. You can also include the preferred method of communication for pick-ups and drop-offs. Former spouses who can remain civil with each other may find talking on the phone works, while others may find texting and emailing more effective.
5. How to Resolve Disputes
Even if you and your former partner are amiable after divorce, there is always the potential for a dispute to arise. Your parenting plan should include provisions about how you will resolve these disputes. For instance the plan may provide that you will attend mediation prior to filing an action for relief with the court, such as a motion to enforce the parenting plan.
Call Our Child Custody and Visitation Attorneys in Tampa For Help!
Creating a parenting plan can be complicated, but if it is done properly, it can give you a lot of reassurance about what your life will look like post-divorce. At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa child custody and visitation attorneys can help you create a plan that will be enforceable in the future, protects your rights, and that will be approved by the court. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to request a free consultation to obtain more information. Se habla Español.