The biggest concern for parents who plan to divorce is how divorce will affect their children & rightfully so. The effect that a divorce has on a child often varies on the child's age, maturity level, and many other factors. Unfortunately, there is no same effect for all children. Every child handles the news of divorce in different ways, but it’s important to understand that the parent’s actions will either help or hinder the child’s ability to cope with the divorce.
Because every child's response is different, it is important to have a solid parenting plan in place. But what is a parenting plan? A parenting plan is a document developed and agreed to by the parents of a minor child and approved by the court, or if the parents cannot agree, established by the court, which governs the relationship between the parents regarding the child. A parenting plan will often include responsibility for the daily tasks of child-rearing, the time-sharing schedule or overnight schedule, and decision-making authority relating to health care, school, and related activities. The plan also will specify any technology that will be used for parent-child communication and, in some cases, even parent-parent communication.
It is important to have a solid parenting plan in place because it will help ensure that both parents have ongoing contact with their child and that the parental responsibilities of the minor child or children are shared.
In a best-case scenario, the parent's divorce having an amicable relationship and can use the parenting plan as a guide to follow but are able to work together and may agree to changes from time to time without further court intervention. However, in worst-case scenarios, where the parents cannot get along, the parenting plan is a saving grace. In these situations, a solid and well laid out parenting plan can be the rule to follow for non-cooperating parents to ensure that not only the child's needs are being met but that each parent is able to foster a relationship with the child.
When parents cannot reach a mutual agreement as to a parenting plan and have to turn to the court system in order to solidify a parenting plan, a judge will consider the best interests of the child and various other aspects in order to make a final decision. While a court will strive to make a fair distribution in terms of parenting time, in some cases, this may result in a parenting plan that neither parent is happy with.
For this reason, it is very important that both parents keep their child's best interest in mind and put their feelings of hurt, pain, or resentment towards the other parent to the side. A child's response to divorce depends on the parents and their own response to divorce.
At Florida Legal, we strive to help all our divorce clients reach a parenting plan that will continue fostering their relationship with their child and is satisfying to them. Contact our office now, we're ready to help you.