Parenting Plans and Florida Law
Florida Statutes require that parents of minor children who are divorcing or who are unmarried and seeking to establish legal paternity agree to a parenting plan. Parenting plans are meant to lay out the specifics of timesharing and parental responsibilities. A well written parenting plan can and should include a variety of specifics such as the minor child’s education, healthcare, religious and extra curricular activities.
Equal Timesharing & Joint Custody
Getting a parenting plan right the first time will be highly beneficial as it acts as roadmap to each parent’s responsibilities, timesharing schedules, including how holidays and vacation time will be divided. A parenting plan may or may not be a 50/50 model or “equal” timesharing but in Hillsborough County, the courts favor such agreements. It is almost always the best option when parents mutually agree to a parenting plan and after realistically considering the likelihood that each can and will abide by it. Shared custody or joint custody provides both parents with legal and physical custody of their child and both parents must approve and agree upon all major decisions that affect the child’s life. Sole custody can be awarded when there is a question about the best interests of the minor child.
Negotiating the Best Parenting Plan
Emotions frequently run high in child custody matters, but the best interest of the children should always be paramount. If for instance, one parent’s job requires extensive travel or they have other reasons why they cannot be present for the child during scheduled timesharing, it may be in the child’s best interest to offer a greater amount of timesharing to the present parent on weekly timesharing. More time during the summer or school vacation days can be offered to the other parent if it is possible. There are several options for parents who wish to work together towards a parenting plan that makes sense. This type of cooperation between parents may help to avoid future conflicts and are looked upon with favor by the courts. Nilo J Sanchez & Associates are seasoned Tampa child custody attorneys with over 20 years of specializing in family law, parental rights and child custody in Tampa Bay. We are committed to providing sound, legal counsel and representation that looks to your future best interests and the best interest of your minor child.
Timesharing conflicts frequently arise due to a parenting plan that did not realistically take into consideration the ability of each parent to abide by it. For instance, if one parent’s ‘no shows” are persistent due to their work schedule or other matters that have priority over the children, not only would this not be in the child’s best interest, but it opens up the possibility of future legal problems. When no shows persist or when one parent withholds timesharing, enforcement, contempt and child custody modifications can ensue. No one can predict the future, but an experienced Tampa Family Law Attorney can provide guidance and legal counsel to ensure the best possible outcome in a divorce or child custody case. Although mediation is generally required to work out child custody issues in Tampa Bay, if and when negotiations fail, rest assured, we are aggressive Tampa child custody litigation attorneys who will fight for your parental rights.
Contact Nilo J Sanchez & Associates
If you would like to schedule a consultation with a Tampa divorce or child custody attorney for Pinellas, Hillsborough or Pasco County child custody or divorce cases, please call our law firm at (813) 879-4600 or leave a secure message below.