Kimberly Steinhoff January 12, 2022 Parenting
When separation or divorce happens and children are involved, the first thing that should be done is making a parenting plan. You may need to make a temporary plan if a long and heated custody battle is coming. Even if custody hearings are short and less stressful, a temporary parenting plan may need to be made before a permanent one is created. A temporary plan should consist of as much detail as you can but needs just the basics to get you by until a permanent plan can be made. What are the basics of a temporary parenting plan? Parenting time schedule - How much time each parent spends with the children Children`s schedules - What activities the children have Emergency information - Any information pertaining to emergencies
Under Florida law, biological parents have first priority in child custody issues. Only under exceptional circumstances does the court ordinarily grant visitation or custody rights to step-parents. If the child`s primary caregiver believes that maintaining contact with the step-parent is in the child`s best interests, it is possible for the step-parent to have formal visitation rights. If the court believes this might infringe on the rights of the other parent, however, the step-parent may be excluded.
Once the parenting agreement is decided on, the parents can get a copy of the state child support calculator to find out the amount of support that is paid or received. If the parents do not think the amount of support is fair, they can make adjustments to the agreement to change the amount. They can do this by changing the custody schedule or the other information in the agreement. It is important for parents to take ownership for their agreement and child support. They should double check the calculations and do their own math rather than relying on the court. The court may estimate some of the numbers or make mistakes, and it is up to the parents to notice this and fix the situation.
Together as parents you must decide how you will share the responsibility of making decisions for your children. These are major decisions such as religion, education and medical care. The parental responsibility to make decisions is called sole custody. The next section in your plan should determine how the children`s time is spent with parents. This is known as physical custody. It is useful to create a time schedule or calendar that outlines when the children is in the care of each parent.
Divorce and separation are difficult not only for the child but also for the parents. It is important that the parents do all they can to make the transition as seamless and easy as possible. Parents should try and work together if possible to create a single parenting plan so it is created in the child`s best interests. Courts will mostly accept a plan upon which both parents agree and have cooperated on.
Filing for child support is a different process than filing the parenting agreement, but they relate and they can be done at the same time. There are just different papers to fill out. The parenting agreement affects the support payments, because the information in the agreement determines the amount of support. The agreement has the custody and visitation schedule, which provides the timeshare percentage of each parent. The agreement should also contain stipulations about how the parents will provide insurance, education, and other necessities for the child. Some states use these factors to help determine the amount of support.