Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging events in life for any family. Along with the emotional and financial stress that it brings, determining decision-making responsibility and parenting time can make things even more complicated. After all, deciding the best approach to maintain a stable and supportive environment for your children can be overwhelming, to say the least. But you don't have to navigate these challenges alone. This blog post will help you understand the process of determining decision-making responsibility and parenting time after divorce so that you can make informed decisions and provide the best possible arrangement for your family.
In Florida, there are two types of custody arrangements that divorcing couples must negotiate - decision-making responsibility and parenting time. Decision-making responsibility refers to the ability of parents to make major decisions about their child's life, including education, healthcare, religion, and extracurricular activities. Parenting time, on the other hand, determines the amount of time that each parent will have with their child. There are several factors that courts consider when determining these arrangements in Florida. These factors include the child's age, his or her relationship with each parent, each parent's work schedule and availability, each parent's living situation, and the child's needs regarding education and medical care.
Once the court has considered these factors, it will enter a parenting plan that outlines the decision-making responsibility and parenting time between the parties. This parenting plan can take different forms depending on each family's dynamics and schedules. For example, the court may enter a shared parental responsibility agreement, which means that both parents will have equal say in major decisions regarding their child's life. Alternatively, the court may award sole parental responsibility to one parent, meaning he or she will have the ability to make important decisions without input from the other parent.
Similarly, the court will determine the amount of time a child will spend with each parent based on the factors listed above. Florida law has a presumption that children should spend approximately equal time with each parent, but in some circumstances, the court may order a different schedule. For example, if one parent lives far away or has a job that does not leave much time for childcare, the court may award more parenting time to the other parent.
It's important to note that the parenting plan is not set in stone and can be modified if needed. If there is a significant change in circumstances, such as a parent being relocated or a child's special needs arising after the initial agreement, either parent can petition the court for a modification of the agreement. It's always advisable to work with an experienced family law attorney to navigate these changes and ensure that your child's best interests are being met.
Deciding decision-making responsibility and parenting time after a divorce can be a difficult process, but it's essential to ensure that your children are provided with a stable and supportive environment. By working with a knowledgeable family law attorney, you can understand the factors that the court considers and arrive at an agreement that best reflects your family's unique needs. If you're looking for a family law practice in Orlando, FL, contact Ilvento Law today to schedule a consultation.