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How Can I Create a Florida Parenting Plan?

Tampa child custody family law attorneys

If you are getting a divorce and have children with your spouse or if you have children outside of marriage, you will have to draft a parenting plan as part of the divorce or paternity process. If you and your spouse cannot agree to a plan, the courts will create one for you. It is always better for a couple to draft a plan on their own. This allows the parents to create customized solutions that are right for their family instead of allowing a judge, who may not take certain factors into consideration, to do it for them. Creating a parenting plan is not always easy, though. Below, one of our Tampa child custody attorneys outlines some tips to follow.

Make the Best Interests of Your Child a Priority 

You likely have at least a few things you would like the parenting plan to reflect. Any time you want to include something, you must ask yourself if it is in the best interests of your child. Consider your child’s schedule and how their schoolwork, routines, and time with friends and family will be impacted by the plan. If your children are older, you may even be able to ask them for their input. The best interests of your child are the main priority when creating a plan and if yours does not reflect them, the court may not approve it.

Consider Your Own Schedule 

Just as you should certainly consider your child’s schedule, it is just as important to consider your own, as well. Think about the responsibilities your job places on you, your social life, family obligations, and travel time between your home and your former spouse’s. Consider how much flexibility you have in your own schedule, so you can plan time with your child accordingly.

Provisions for Emergencies

Emergency situations are bound to come up at some point. Parents or children can become sick, or unforeseen circumstances can arise at work or home that affect your schedule. Include options for emergencies in the parenting plan so everyone is aware of how to proceed and what their obligations are.

Dispute Resolution Methods 

Just as emergencies can arise in the future, so too, can disputes. One parent may continually miss visits, or regularly run late when picking up or dropping children off. Your parenting plan should clearly outline how you and your co-parent will handle these disputes.  What this means is that going back to court first may not be the answer.  In your parenting plan, you can agree that the parties will attend mediation prior to filing a motion before the court.  You can also agree on who will pay for the mediation.

Methods of Communication 

The very way one parent communicates with the other is often enough to start conflicts and disputes. Your parenting plan should include how you and your former spouse will communicate with each other about the children, whether that is a phone call, text, or email. Your parenting plan should also reflect the amount of time and how the child will communicate with the other parent while in your care, and vice versa.

Our Child Custody Attorneys in Tampa Can Help with Your Parenting Plan 

At All Family Law Group, P.A., our Tampa child custody attorneys have extensive experience helping parents create parenting plans, and we will put that expertise to work for you. Call us now at 813-672-1900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.  Se habla Español.

All Family Law Group, P.A.
The law firm of All Family Law Group, P.A. provides legal services to the Florida cities including Tampa, Clearwater, Brandon, Riverview, Hyde Park, South Tampa, Ybor City, Northdale, Valrico, Gibsonton, Lithia, Mango, Palm River, Plant City, Seffner, Sun City Center, Wimauma, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Temple Terrace, Carrollwood, Northdale, Westchase, Citrus Park, Town N Country, Thonotosassa, Lutz, Fish Hawk, New Tampa, St. Petersburg, Palm Harbor, MacDill Air Force Base and all of Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco Counties. We will also represent DIVORCE clients in Polk, Hernando or Manatee Counties.

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