Tips for Creating an Effective Parenting Plan
Couples going through a divorce need to set up a comprehensive parenting plan right from the start. It’s best to try and come to an agreement on this before things get more complicated and potentially ugly as you argue over assets and other financial details. Your children should be the number one priority, and it’s important to ensure they have structure and stability. Divorce is hard enough on kids, giving them some stability and routine by preparing a parenting plan right from the start can help ease the stress of this major life change.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
Both parents need to be open and willing to communicate on what’s best for their children. It’s important to not only involve both parents, but also the children if they are old enough to express their own opinions on certain topics. A parenting plan is signed by the court, which means it is legally binding, and failure to comply can have serious consequences. This is why both spouses need to communicate and come to an agreement that everyone can live with. Be sure to cover all bases if you live far apart, like traveling alone, who covers what expenses, permission to travel out of the country with one parent, etc.
Be Prepared to Compromise
Like communication, compromise is an important element of any parenting plan. Parents need to be more flexible than they are probably wanting to be, but it will guarantee the children are receiving ample time with each parent. You may need to share holidays and special events, which may not make the soon to be ex-spouses happy, but this is about the child, not you. There may be exceptions, like a special holiday where one parent lives far away. If it falls on a weekday during the school year, it may not be in the child’s best interest to take them out of school and fly them across the country for only a couple days.
Consider Your Support Network
Consider how the divorce will impact your current support network. Do you rely on your spouse’s family for a lot of support with babysitting? If so, you need to figure out who will still be around once the divorce decree is filed. You cannot create a parenting plan based on your support network alone, but it is important to consider what options you have in the case of an emergency.
Keep Communication to One Form
If you are struggling with communication, it’s suggested to keep your communication limited to one program. Maybe it’s email and you create a calendar and schedule there. Having all your communication recorded in one place is helpful as you may need to submit it to the court if issues arise. You will be held responsible for what you write, so it’s important to keep your messages civil.
Retaining a Florida Divorce Attorney
If you are preparing to file for divorce or have been served with papers, it’s important to retain a Florida divorce attorney. Contact the Law Offices of Schwartz | White to schedule a consultation and let us help you with all your family law needs.