Co-Parenting post-divorce is no easy task. Whenever possible, we recommend parents carefully develop a parenting plan together to reduce tension and conflict in the family. Parental conflict hurts children. Parents need to establish a safe and healthy co-parenting relationship.
The best way to avoid conflicts is to develop a parenting plan that spells out as many parental decisions as possible. The parenting plan should include the responsibilities of each parent, including the time parents spend with the children.
Children benefit from spending time with each parent. The goal of a parenting plan is to maximize children’s time with each parent. A parenting plan must accommodate work schedules and any other responsibilities of the parents. The plan should be detailed and carefully specify each parents’ responsibilities concerning the children. It should address holidays, birthdays, travel, medical decision-making, schools, religious training, extracurricular activities, alcohol and drug use, screen time, chores, special needs, parties, sleepovers, driving, and many other issues. You may want to consider extended family relationships and how you and your ex will support those relationships.
If you can work with your co-parent to develop a detailed plan, your children will benefit. Parenting plans that deal with many of the issues after divorce have fewer conflicts. Children do better when their parents can work together peacefully.
Parents must also address communicating when it concerns the children. Choose a specific method such as texting, email, online calendars, or other software like Our Family Wizard, especially in a high conflict post-divorce where litigation may arise. These provide boundaries and privacy.
The parenting plan should also identify likely issues and provide a roadmap for handling more complex issues. For example, plans can provide alternative dispute resolution (ADR), such as mediation to address unanticipated severe problems. However, taking the time to consider issues that will predictably minimize conflict.
A clear, written parenting plan will provide you and your children stability and predictability, significantly reduce stress in your family and primarily serve the children’s best interests.
You may modify your parenting plan as long as you both agree. The hope is that the parenting plan will provide a positive framework for post-divorce co-parenting. Therefore, you are free to agree to any change, short or long term, regarding the care of your children.
Florida law requires parenting plans; a judge will decide if you and your co-parent cannot agree. It is always better when parents can work out realistic agreements (perhaps with the help of a divorce coach) that you can commit to and honor.
The parenting plan must be approved by the court in Florida and will become part of the Separation Agreement and Order of the court.
Either parent may ask the court to modify the agreement in the event of a substantial and material change of circumstances.
If you’re contemplating a split with your spouse, contact us.
With over 30 years of combined experience, Jason Brodie Esq. and Joshua Friedman Esq. will guide you toward realistic goals and provide committed advocacy toward achieving them. They are known throughout South Florida for dedicated client service, tenacity, and success in complex divorce litigation involving property division, child custody, and spousal support.
To get a better understanding of the qualities our reputation is built on, contact our office in Boca Raton to schedule your initial phone consultation (561) 392-5100