Child Custody & Parenting Plans
Child custody is always a stressful and anxiety provoking issue. The child experiences the most stress and guilt when they feel they caused the breakup and then attempt to reunite the parents. If the child feels “forced to choose,” this compiles the burden.
Child custody refers to the care, control, and maintenance of a minor. In a joint custody situation, both parents share legal and physical child custody. In Florida, joint custody is called shared parental responsibility, and both parents must approve all decisions related to the child. If this is not possible, the courts will get involved.
A parent with legal custody of a child can make educational, religious, medical, and even disciplinary decisions. Through these laws, the courts will also decide on physical custody. The courts determine physical custody to establish where a child will live.
Child custody may be either shared or sole custody. The Florida courts demonstrate a strong preference for shared (or joint) custody arrangements, known as “time sharing.” Unless there is evidence that shared custody would not benefit the child, the courts usually prefer a time sharing arrangement. At some point, a Parenting Plan may be implemented.
For these and a host of other reasons, child custody can be the most contentious and stressful element of a divorce. Our firm understands these sensitive aspects and will work with you to determine the appropriate outcome with the utmost of care and consideration to you and your family.
A parenting plan is a document established by the parents of a minor child, and approved by the court, which governs the relationship between the parents and the child.
A parenting plan may address issues such as the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being, and must include a time sharing schedule. This generally covers who is responsible for daily activities, driving, and everything regarding the child’s schedule, lifestyle and activities.
Rather than engage in an acrimonious legal battle, the court will encourage the parents to create their own parenting plan, either between themselves or through mediation. A well-intentioned parenting plan addresses both the custodial rights and responsibilities of parents of minor children.
Parents agree to a plan that considers their children’s ages and needs. If they continue to co-parent effectively, they can adjust their plans over time to ensure that their plan remains in the best interest of their children. Our office can help you create a parenting plan most effective for your needs and that of your children.