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Flexibility is key for effective parenting plans

Your Florida divorce is likely not the easiest event of your life, but you have finally agreed on the major issues. You have split assets, including the house, retirement plans and other property. Although you decided to share custody of your children, coming up with a schedule that you can work with seems unlikely.

According to the Florida Supreme Court, you must have a parenting plan if your divorce includes time-sharing with minor children. The court must also approve any plan you develop, including a modified plan if needed later.

Plan for flexibility

Keeping flexibility in mind from the start can help make sharing your child’s time with your ex less stressful. It can also enable you to make room for expected and unexpected schedule changes and events. Planning for known schedule changes, such as school breaks, vacations and holidays, is only part of the agreement.

Planning for last-minute activities and changing interests as your child grows can make a rigid plan unrealistic. Instead, consider setting a date for you both to sit down and evaluate the current schedule. This can help you avoid misunderstandings and allow your child the flexibility he needs.

Make your child the priority

Your relationship with your child is likely different than the relationship your child has with your ex. Consider that aspect of your child’s life when working out the schedule. The change in family life is stressful for children. Changing their relationship due to poor planning can damage their confidence.

Open and frequent communication is essential for maintaining flexibility and tempers. Decide on which form of communication works best, from emails to phone calls or texts and stick with it. If your lives change significantly and require a modified parenting plan, the court may require specific documentation and final approval.