While physical assets may be difficult to separate, the hardest thing to determine during a divorce can be the custody of the children. Scheduling holiday time and assigning financial responsibilities requires compromise from both parents. In order to facilitate the division of duties, family courts in Florida can require parents to submit a parenting plan for approval by the judge.
In addition to designating a visitation schedule, here are some other aspects that the parenting plan addresses:
1. Family rules
If you already had established rules in your shared home, it may be best to continue enforcing them after you separate. While enforcement can be difficult when one parent does not agree with the rules, having different rules at each house can be confusing for children and can cause them to rebel against a parent. Determine to be on the same side of the rules you make. Having a unified front is important in making the transition as easy as possible on the whole family.
2. Methods of communication
Some parents have no problems communicating with each other after divorce, but many have trouble putting aside emotions when they need to discuss important decisions. It can be wise to hire a mediator to help former spouses determine solutions that are fair and equal. Authority for certain decisions can be given to one parent so that discussions can be limited to those things that require both parents’ input.
Daily communication about responsibilities such as pick-up times, school activities and other mundane topics can also be determined. Some parents prefer to communicate via text message or email, while others favor talking on the phone. Decide what will work for you in the beginning so that each parent knows what the boundaries are.
3. In addition to alimony and child support, there will other expenses. To limit future financial disputes, you may find it helpful to determine who will be responsible for each financial obligation when you develop your parenting plan. Here are several commitments to consider when divvying up expenses:
· School activities and lunch money
· Sports fees
· Car payments and insurance
· Doctor’s bills
· Spending money
In addition to determining financial responsibility, it is also important to discuss gifts. Some parents try to outdo the other at birthdays and Christmas, so it can be beneficial to determine a budget of allowed spending on gifts.
Figuring out a parenting plan with the previously mentioned topics and schedules and holidays can facilitate divorce proceedings. It may be helpful to contact a knowledgeable lawyer for assistance in creating the parenting plan.