If you and the other parent of your child are planning to both raise the child but separately, you will need to have a parenting plan in place. These plans can be developed and enforced by the courts or they can be created by you, the parents.
If you favor the latter option, you will likely learn that you have more control over the situation, but you will also need to work a little harder to create a plan that both parents are satisfied with. In order to do this, it can be wise to take a few things into consideration when you are discussing a parenting plan.
- The well-being of the child: As noted in this Florida parenting plan form, your top priority needs to be how your child will be affected by the parenting plan that is put in place. This means that you will need to put your wants aside if they clash with what is best for your child. For example, even if you don't want to split custody 50/50 with the other parent, doing so can be best because it will allow your child to spend ample time with both parents.
- Your capabilities as a parent: Understanding your abilities and limitations as a parent can be very difficult, but it is crucial that you explore them. While you may want the responsibility of managing a child's education and health care, it may not be the best option if you have trouble staying organized. Similarly, if the other parent struggles with disciplining a child, you may be well-suited to set the boundaries in this area.
- Logistical details: It is one thing to say what you want, but it is another thing to actually follow through on what you want. For example, you may want to alternate weeks when it comes to custody, but if your job typically has you working late or you have unpredictable hours, you may not be able to reliably pick your child up every day for school when you have custody. Working these details out ahead of time can prevent confusion and frustration later on down the road.
Coming up with a parenting plan can be a challenge, but it is one that can pay off in the long run. By taking these factors into consideration during parenting plan discussions, you and the other parent can pursue a satisfactory resolution.