If you share custody of your child with another parent, the fact is that there is a very real potential for disputes or complications to arise. Even if you both are amicable and in agreement at the beginning of the process, there is no way to predict the future and potential issues that may come up later on down the line. You can, however, plan for these situations.
In Florida, parents who share custody of a child will need to have a parenting plan in place. These agreements define crucial boundaries, rules and obligations with which parents must comply while the agreement is in place.
Some of the most essential information that appears in a typical Florida parenting plan refers to the actual custody schedule in place. This includes when a child will be with each parent, including weekend and weekday schedules, holidays and vacations.
Another key element in a parenting plan addresses parental decision making. Raising a child separately but together can lead to confusion and miscommunication when it comes to making decisions for a child. A parenting plan will clearly establish whether one or both parents are permitted to make daily and/or emergency decisions.
Beyond these factors, a parenting plan can also set rules for who will pay for extracurricular activities, how and when custody exchanges should occur, how disputes between parents should be resolved, how and when a parent can communicate with a child who is in the custody of the other parent as well as a whole host of other issues that can and do arise in shared parenting arrangements.
It is important that these decisions be made fairly and amicably, if possible. Parents who can work together to develop a parenting plan typically find that they are able to create one that is fair and works for everyone involved. In order to do this, it can be wise to discuss parenting plan goals, questions and concerns with your attorney.