The Importance Of A Strong Parenting Plan

You cannot underestimate the challenge of being a parent during a divorce. You are going through one of the most emotionally difficult periods of your life. As much as you are struggling, and understandably so, your children need you to be the best parent you can be. They crave consistency during a time when there are numerous variables. During these situations, shift your focus onto the elements that you have control over. One of those things is working with your attorney to create a firm and reliable parenting plan.

Though these are often referred to as custody agreements, they are called parenting plans in Florida. They are a contract between you and your former spouse that identifies your rights and how you will share the custody of your children. Some parents can work rationally and civilly through their attorneys to create one. Once a plan has been established, it goes to a judge to be signed. Because the child’s best interests are always the priority, a judge could alter one if they feel the plan doesn’t achieve that. When parents cannot agree, they submit proposals to the judge, who decides based on the evidence they have about your case. 

What Has to be in the Parenting Plan?

Like all contracts, the specific details matter. The plan must outline the rights and responsibilities of each parent as it relates to the child. In terms of rights, there is a difference between physical and legal custody. Physical custody is where the child lives (and for what amount of time), and legal custody pertains to medical, educational, and religious decision-making. 

Before you meet with your family law attorney, take some time to consider the following questions. They not only help you understand what is in a parenting plan, but they can be jumping-off points for things you need to discuss with your attorney. Here are some of them:

  • How will decisions be handled?
  • How will you and your spouse talk to one another (e.g., text, email, phone calls, etc.)?
  • How often can you speak with your child when they aren’t physically with you?
  • Do you have a plan for how pick-up and drop-off will work?
  • Who has the child, and for how long?
  • How will you handle holidays, school vacations, and long weekends?
  • What happens if a conflict prevents the child from seeing one of the parents?

The above list is not exhaustive, but it is a solid start. The money you pay (or receive) in child support was not meant to cover tuition or medical bills. Because of this, your parenting plan needs to address how these will get paid. For instance, you can split the medical bills 50/50, divide them based on income, or the parent who doesn’t have the child most of the time can offer to pay them. Talk through these issues with your family law attorney, so you can begin to build the parenting plan that is right for you and your child. 

Get in Touch With an Empathetic & Experienced Family Law Attorney

At C. Alvarez Law, we provide compassionate legal advice because you deserve someone who is on your side and will support you throughout the divorce process. We will navigate the challenges of divorce, custody, and parenting plans, so you can work on restoring some order to your life. Call us at (407) 558-2287 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.

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C. Alvarez Law

C. Alvarez Law is a Central Florida-based law firm that helps families find resolutions to their most complex family law issues. We are dedicated to providing the support and advice you need for a positive outcome and a better life. Before you can move on with your life, you need closure. Our firm is diverse, energetic, and passionate about delivering this for the clients who have placed their trust in us. Let’s work together today to find a better tomorrow.

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