Entering a parenting plan can seem very daunting when you have never seen these types of agreements. There are few things that you should take into consideration and address in your parenting plan:
1. Summer Vacation: You want to make sure that your parenting plan address summer timesharing and provides two weeks of uninterrupted timesharing for each parent. This will allow you to take a trip with the child or children. There are parenting plans that do not specifically provide summer vacation with the parents.
2. Travel: Make sure your parenting plan addresses both domestic and international travel. It is recommended that the parties address attaining a passport if the child or children don’t have passports. Also, it’s important to address who will hold the passport.
3. Right of First Refusal: In the state of Florida standard parenting plan do not include right of first refusal. Right of first refusal essentially requires one of the child's parents, who otherwise would have "timesharing" prior to placing a child into third party care (such as a babysitter) to first grant the child's other parent the right to care for the child during the period of the first parent's absence. In order to be workable, it must be carefully thought through by the parties, and just as carefully drafted by experienced family law counsel, or else it can risk creating and exacerbating disputes.
4. Decide on Expenses: You'll need to work out a plan for how child-related expenses will be covered. You may decide that certain expenses can be split 50/50 while others may require a different ratio of responsibility. You'll also want to know if child support payments will become a factor in your situation. No matter your arrangement, using a tool to maintain a shared register of child-related expenses, and allow you to send and receive reimbursements for things like medical expenses or child support, will help you and your co-parent stay on top of shared parenting costs and help you promote financial stability in each home.
5. Unique Situation to your Family: You may have special items that you want to address in your parenting plan, such as details about curfew, diet, seeing extended family, and more. If you think it's important, consider adding it to your plan now, so the way you want to handle these issues is documented.
Remember that parenting plan are almost permanent in nature. In order to modify, there has to be a mutual agreement by the parents or one parent has to demonstrate, in court, that there is a substantial change in circumstance that is material and involuntary. Please call us at 305-428-2220 for a free consultation regarding your parenting plan.