If you are preparing for divorce and there are children involved, be aware that first and foremost, the Court’s most important concern is the well-being of your children. Remaining objective and determining what is best for the children isn’t always easy to do. Combine that with the fact that you and your spouse will likely have different views about appropriate parenting during and after the divorce, and you will find that formulating a co-parenting plan can become quite challenging!
Staack, Simms & Reighard, PLLC, the premier attorneys for family law in Clearwater, Florida, understands that every divorce and parenting situation is unique and deserves the highest level of attention, professionalism, and compassion. Meet with us for expert counsel to ensure that your interests and the interests of your children are protected throughout the entire divorce process.
The Court’s Vantage Point
The court will evaluate many factors to formulate “Best Interests of the Children” recommendations. These are some of the aspects that will be taken into consideration as they pertain to the children’s physical, financial, and emotional upbringing:
- What are the ages and current developmental stages of the children?
- Do the children have any special needs?
- How well aware are each of the parents with regard to all aspects of the children’s lives and daily routines?
- How were parental responsibilities divided before divorce proceedings began?
- Are the children living in a secure, acceptable environment?
- What is the current school and community record of each of the children?
- What is the mental, physical, and moral fitness of both parents, and how well do they communicate with each other? Are both parents willing to be unified on major issues?
- Does each parent have the ability to accurately determine and appropriately act upon the needs of the children?
- Are the children mature enough to express reasonable preferences about where they reside or any aspects of the visitation schedule?
- Is there any evidence of substance abuse, child abuse, child neglect, child abandonment, domestic violence, or sexual violence in either of the parent’s homes?
- Will both parents encourage a close parent-child relationship?
- Will time-sharing schedules and parental responsibilities be honored?
- Will parents be reasonable and flexible about making adjustments if necessary?
- Is there any evidence that false information was knowingly provided to the Court?
What Plans Do You Have For Your Children?
To prepare yourself for co-parenting responsibilities, it is vital for you to review and define your own personal position as a parent, and to understand all the legal aspects that will influence co-parenting plans for your family. Your current and past situation and relationship with your children gives great insight into your parenting style, involvement, and availability. The Court will also review what you see as appropriate plans for your children and consider the logistics and practicalities involved including:
- How will the parental responsibilities be allocated between you and your ex-spouse?
- Can this be done while still providing a consistent routine for the children?
- Are those responsibilities reasonable and realistic considering work schedules and commitments?
- What is the distance between your home and your ex-spouse’s home, and what is the travel time for the children?
- How will you and your ex-spouse be involved in the children’s schools, extracurricular activities, and the various other aspects of their lives?
The more informed, organized, and committed you are to establishing strategies for a good co-parenting plan, the more likely your success, and the better off your children will be.
Experienced Divorce Representation
We understand your priority is the emotional and physical health of your children. While divorce is never easy, there is so much you can do as a parent to help create a loving and nurturing environment, even during the rockier times. As your attorneys we have the experience and compassion to guide you through divorce and into a successful co-parenting plan. Call us to schedule a private consultation. We are here to assist every step of the way.