The Florida legal system is designed to give the children of divorced couples an equal amount of time with both parents. Before you can finalize your divorce, you and your estranged spouse will have to submit a parenting plan for the judge to review. This plan dictates how you plan to raise your child going forward.
What should you include in your parenting plan?
Most judges rule in favor of joint child custody, except in extreme situations, like child abuse or endangerment. Before the judge finalizes your divorce, you and your estranged spouse will have to take parenting classes. You’ll also have to write a parenting plan or ask the court to write one for you.
Your parenting plan should include information about how you raise your child on a day-to-day basis. This includes feeding your child, getting him or her to school, taking care of his or her emotional needs and other aspects of parenting. You’ll also have to discuss potential emergencies, like getting your child medical care. While the judge decides who gets custody, you and your estranged spouse can decide how to divide time with your child.
You should also decide how you’re going to stay in contact with your estranged spouse. You may agree to use a third-party app or keep touch in through social media. A divorce attorney could offer more advice on this subject.
How can you successfully co-parent your child?
Even if you get full custody, your former spouse still has certain parental rights. You’ll have to figure out how to effectively co-parent with that person, so your child can grow up with both parents in his or her life. An attorney could suggest ways you could co-parent with your former spouse and remain civil when possible. He or she could also help you write a parenting plan.