In Florida divorces, one of the most emotionally difficult issues that estranged couples must deal with often relates to their children. Child custody and parenting time can be complex and rife with dispute. Still, there may be sufficient common ground for the parents to come to a workable solution on their own without needing court intervention.
What a parenting agreement might include
There are variables in every child custody and parenting time case, but most will boil down to certain fundamentals. Knowing what to include in the agreement is imperative. Among the most frequent catalysts for discord are the child’s primary residence; the schedule for time the child spends with the non-custodial parent; how decisions are made regarding upbringing and basic care; determining how to organize holidays, summer vacations and special events; maintaining contact with siblings, grandparents, friends and others; and addressing problems as they arise.
Once the parents have completed their negotiations – whether on their own or with help from their respective attorneys – a judge must grant final approval before that agreement is put into effect. If there is a violation of the agreement, there are likely to be consequences. If a parent is refusing to allow the other parent to have the time with the child as the custody agreement stipulates, then the court will likely need to step in and resolve it.
Addressing the challenges with parenting time agreements
It is generally perceived as beneficial to the child if the parents are on the same page with a parenting time agreement. A negotiated settlement theoretically gives each parent what he or she wants. Even with that, there can be problems. To ensure that the agreement is handled properly and is adhered to, it can be useful to have professional assistance.