Divorcing or separating parents in Florida often have a significant challenge ahead of them. They will need to negotiate a parenting plan with one another so that they can effectively co-parent. Some people rush through the process of plan creation, only to end up facing a lot of challenges and disputes in their co-parenting relationship later.
It is better in most cases for couples to be thorough in the plan creation process so that there are fewer disagreements between the parents later. Obviously, every parenting plan should include a breakdown of your timesharing schedule for both during the school year and during school vacations. What other issues do you need to address in your parenting plan?
1. Decision-making authority
Parents often share both time with the children and legal custody or the right to make choices for the children. Whether you want the parent who has the children at any given time to have the authority during their parenting time or one parent has the decision-making power related to certain issues, like religion or healthcare, you need to clarify in your agreement with one another how you will handle important choices about your children.
2. Technology use
There are two technological issues that parents may want to address in their parenting plans. The first is what kind of technology the children can use and what kind of limits the parents want to place on that use.
From a curfew for someone’s cell phone and the rules for social media to a specific number of hours that they can play video games, consistent limits will be key to ensuring appropriate behavior. Parents may also need to talk about how they will use technology to communicate with the children and what kind of access they need to allow for one another.
3. Disciplinary standards
How will you punish your children if they do something unacceptable? Having consistent disciplinary standards between households will be crucial to your efforts having the desired impact on the children.
When they expect different outcomes at different homes, they may not truly learn from their mistakes the way that they often will with consistent reinforcement and discipline. Being clear about the behavioral standards and the grade expectations that you have for your children will allow the two of you to help them achieve their best even after you separate.
Thinking carefully about the right terms to include in your Florida parenting plan will take some of the friction out of shared custody scenarios.