The process of getting divorced can cause a great deal of pain, stress, and frustration within the home. This stress and anxiety has a significant impact on adults and a profound impact on your children. Disputes over where the children are going to spend their time adds to that stress for both parents and their children.
If the parties cannot agree on a Parenting Plan and Time-Sharing Schedule, then the Court will decide where the children spend time with each parent. No one likes the idea of a Judge telling them when they can and when they cannot see their children. When parents are forced to divide their child’s time between two spaces, living arrangements can become strained and aggravated.
These circumstances make Time-Sharing one of the most challenging and difficult aspects of a divorce case. When two parents, who both love their children more than anything else, must work through or litigate where their children will live with most of the time, it can be a terrifying, frustrating, and difficult process.
Child Custody is now Parenting Plans and Time Sharing
In an effort to reduce parental conflict, both now and in the future, the state of Florida has done away with the concepts of “custody” and “primary residential care.” Both of the terms connoted that one parent was superior to the other.
The focus these days is on Shared Parental Responsibility and it is now the policy of Florida that both parents should have an ongoing and regular relationship with their children post-divorce.
In making decisions about the children, the Court will always consider the best interests of the children and the Court has a great many factors it must consider in determining what is in the best interests of the children. Most important of these factors is which parent will do the most to insure that the other parent has a good relationship with the children. Other factors involve the historical primary care giver, the stability of the parties, their economic circumstances and how they are going to be able to handle their child rearing responsibilities post-divorce.
During your case we will develop our proposed Parenting Plan, which is the document that describes how the parties are going to co-parent the children after their divorce is over. The primary component to the Parenting Plan is the Time-Sharing schedule, which determines when the children will be with each parent. The Time-Sharing schedule addresses the school year schedule, the summer schedule and the holidays’ schedule. Obviously, this schedule is vitally important to both parents. We work with our clients to develop a strategy to convince the Court that our client should have the time-sharing schedule that they seek while still remaining focused on the best interests of the children.
The Parenting Plan also addresses which school the child will attend, how decisions will be made about the child’s education, health, religious training, and other important aspects of the children’s lives. Extra-curricular activities and the cost of medical insurance and uninsured medical expenses are addressed as well. Virtually every aspect of the children’s lives, including who gets to claim the children as a tax deduction is determined by the Parenting Plan.