Sharing parental responsibilities after a divorce or the end of a romantic relationship is difficult. Time-sharing arrangements mean that parents will frequently see one another to exchange custody. They will often need to communicate to make decisions about issues ranging from a child’s health care to the right discipline after an incident at school.
There are numerous things you need to address in your Florida parenting plan if you want to share custody without constant conflict with your ex. What are some of the issues that will make co-parenting easier if you address them in your parenting plan ahead of time?
How to handle unexpected changes
We will certainly have rules in your parenting plan for how you handle time-sharing on the average day. You will likely have rules for both the school year and breaks from school, like summer vacation. You also want to address what happens if one parent needs to suddenly make changes during their parenting time.
What if your ex gets sick and has to go to the hospital when they are responsible for your kids? Having rules in place that limit who can provide childcare or including a first right of refusal clause that gives the other parents the right to ask for canceled parenting time by the other before the children go to child care can both be good solutions for unexpected changes.
Have rules for addressing disagreement
You and your ex will have to make decisions on issues that you don’t agree about, ranging from whether your child is old enough to start dating to what medical treatment they should receive for a sports injury.
Being clear about who has legal custody to make those decisions is important. So too is having a rule about how you handle disagreements. Agreeing to communicate in writing or to sit down with a counselor in your parenting plan can give you a speedy resolution when disputes arise about your parenting decisions.
Create expectations for the behavior of the parents, not just the children
Do you expect your ex to arrive for a custody exchange within 10 minutes of the scheduled time? Do you expect them to communicate with you in writing when there will be a substantial deviation from the existing custody arrangements? Putting certain rules in your parenting plan that apply not to the children but some of the adults sharing custody can make it easier for you to balance your responsibilities as co-parents.
Being proactive about minimizing conflict and addressing future concerns will make shared custody easier to manage after a Florida divorce.