Child custody is an area of family law that is ruled by emotions. Parents want what is best for their children. It is usually easier for parents who live together to work through issues, but when the parents aren’t in a relationship, things can get difficult. This is where a parenting plan comes into the picture.
Parents can create a parenting plan
You and your child’s other parent can work together to make the parenting plan. This is usually a good idea since it lets each of you have input into what is going to happen. The court will need to approve a parenting plan if you and your ex are able to come to an agreement about its contents. If you are unable to come to agreements about how your child is going to be raised, the court can step in and make the decisions about factors that must be included in the parenting plan.
Certain details must be included in the parenting plan
Florida law requires a few details that must be included in a parenting plan. Parental responsibility for health care decisions, including mental health care, must be explained. How daily tasks will be divided and handled, who will have the child when, and which parent will make decisions about schooling are also points that have to be addressed. Communication methods between the parents and child must also be included. This is important in many cases, such as when virtual visitation methods will be used for one parent and the child to communicate. An example would be if a deployed parent would communicate with the child via a video chat.
Parenting plans can be creative
Some professions don’t come with work schedules that are set in stone. If you are a doctor, pilot, member of the military, or have any other profession that has a flexible schedule, a creative parenting plan might be the best option for your child. A creative parenting plan can include stipulations about altering who has the child according to the parent’s schedule.
Your child’s wishes matter
Your child’s wishes about parental interaction matter in Florida. This is important to some parents because of allegations of domestic violence. The court can speak to the child and let the child make his or her wishes known about which parent he or she would rather live with. This is a sensitive issue for many child custody cases, so it is best to carefully consider how this will affect the case.
Child support includes more than payments
Child support orders are very important considerations in a child custody case. The order has to include a schedule on when the payments are to be made, and it has to include a termination date for the support. The order will also include information about health care and health insurance for the child.
Having a parenting plan that outlines exactly what each parent must do can help to make parenting after a separation easier. This lets you focus on your relationship with your child and enjoying your time together.