You and your spouse make the difficult decision to divorce. Yet your divorce will involve more than splitting property, assets and retirement funds – You have to split custody of your children.
In deciding custody, Florida court asks you to develop a parenting plan for visitation between you and your children. Unfortunately, the parenting plan proves impossible to agree upon with your spouse, and it seems you argue about even minuscule elements. In your situation, a judge will likely take a role in developing the plan for you, and he or she will determine the best interest of your children and their custody situation.
Florida judges decide your custody arrangements
Parenting plans determine multiple aspects of your children’s day-to-day activities. At minimum, described in detail, a parenting plan should contain:
- How parents will share and be responsible for daily tasks of children’s upbringing
- A time-sharing schedule discussing time that your children spend with each parent
- Whom will be responsible for healthcare, where your children attend school and their school activities
- All communication methods and technologies that children will have access to
A parenting plan also includes how children will spend vacations, a determination of pick-up and drop-off locations and penalties if one parent does not follow the arrangements. When judges decide these elements, they may or may not take your recommendations into consideration, but they work to develop a plan that proves fair within the arrangements of custody.
A judge’s considerations and your children’s best interest
When judges make custody arrangement determinations, they keep the best interest of the children as a top priority. At the forefront of every decision, a judge decides whether small details will impact the children involved.
Judges take into consideration many aspects of parents’ and children’s unique lives when developing a parenting plan. They may account for:
- The demonstrated capacity of each parent in honoring the time schedule
- The disposition of each parent during divorce
- The length of time children have lived in a stable environment
- The moral fitness of the parent
- The capacity of each parent to perform duties and be attentive
- Evidence of domestic violence or parent neglect
For parents that cannot agree on a fair parenting plan, judges attempt to understand the circumstances of each family to develop a solid arrangement for all parties. It is essential, when going through a divorce involving the custody of your children, to hire an experienced attorney to provide you with the knowledge and expertise in obtaining maximum custody.
Know that if you and your ex-spouse cannot agree, Florida judges work diligently to find a safe, secure parenting plan for your children.