Choosing the right divorce attorney to represent your interests is hard enough. When there are children involved, that decision can affect your entire family. In Florida, the court system does not like to use the word “custody” when referencing children in divorce. Instead, Florida will have each parent collaborate in developing a Parenting Plan. This will be the basis for custody, child support and visitation well after the divorce is final.
This Parenting Plan must be approved by the court, but the parties are able to craft it in a way that meets their needs and most importantly, the needs of the children. There are many attorneys that know the basics of time-sharing, visitation, transportation and other basic items. However, a good family law attorney should really get to know your situation and be able to anticipate and plan for the following circumstances:
- School choice, attendance, and expectations for grades and homework;
- Religious upbringing and the child’s preference as they get older;
- Extracurricular activities and their possible effect on visitation;
- School year and extended break time-sharing;
- Medical and healthcare issues and notifying the other parent;
- Mental health concerns and choosing therapy options;
- Discipline of the children and consistency between parents;
- Payment of school activities and extracurriculars;
- Parental control of Internet activity and electronic devices;
- Smartphone use and ability to contact the other parent;
- Use of Skype, Facetime or other technology when there is long distance involved;
- Dating and supervision during visitation periods;
- Law enforcement encounters and consenting to interviews;
- Changing visitation days and right of first refusal to care for child;
These are only a glimpse into the world of raising children after a divorce. The Parenting Plan should be detailed enough so that it can provide for documented steps should something happen during stressful times. This will help the children and the parents to adjust to the uncertainties that life throws our way.
When you are considering a Parenting Plan, the parties and ultimately the court will look at the following factors:
- Each parent’s ability to maintain a close emotional relationship with the child;
- Each parent’s ability to ascertain the specific needs of the child and take the appropriate actions to address those needs;
- The geographic location of each of the parents in relation to the child;
- Each parent’s ability to provide a stable residence and home life for the child;
- The emotional, mental, and physical health of each of the parents;
- Any evidence of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of the child;
- The educational and developmental needs of the child; and
- Any other facts or circumstances that impact the well-being of the child.
Make sure your attorney has a broad range of experience handling custody and parenting time plans. This experience gives them the unique ability to “look into the future” and save everyone future conflict, stress and unnecessary expense..
Call Attorney Adam Pollack today for a FREE Florida Parenting Plan consultation at (407) 834-5297 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!