Creating a Long Distance Time-Sharing Plan
When it comes to child custody arrangements, Florida courts generally presume that frequent and continuing contact with both parents is usually in a child’s best interests. In many cases, these types of arrangements are relatively simple, as both parents live in the same area, have an amicable relationship, and can easily transport the child to and from the other’s residences. This kind of arrangement, however, is not always possible and may not even be in a family’s best interests. A new job or schooling opportunity, or even the illness of a family member, for instance, can make one parent’s long-distance relocation necessary.
While coming up with a workable custody arrangement in these situations is possible, it can be difficult, especially without the aid of an experienced lawyer, so if you or your child’s other parent are relocating, you should reach out to a Fort Lauderdale child visitation and time-sharing lawyer for help crafting a parenting plan that is in your family’s best interests.
Parents are always encouraged to share the rights and responsibilities of child rearing, even when they are no longer a couple. This doesn’t cease to be true just because one of the parents moves out of the state or even out of the country. The reality is that technological advances have made communication easier than ever. These methods of communication, including email, texting, and video calls typically play an important role in fostering long distance relationships between parents and their children. For this reason, most long distance parenting plans include a schedule by which parents can speak with their children via video or phone calls, on a weekly or even daily basis. Besides being able to communicate face-to-face with their loved ones, this kind of regular communication can also allow parents to participate in homework, parent/teacher conferences, and even doctor’s appointments.
Most long distance parenting plans involve an arrangement that allows a child to visit his or her non-custodial parent for a block of time. Summer vacation, spring break, and the winter holidays could all provide parents with this opportunity. Besides giving children more time with a parent, these kinds of arrangements also often make more sense logistically because long distance visits are typically more difficult to arrange.
Long distance parenting plans will also require parents to come up with detailed travel arrangements for when their children do visit their non-custodial parent. This could involve including information about what kinds of transportation is preferred. If, for instance, the distance between the parents’ homes makes air travel necessary, the parents should come up with an agreement about who will pay for the ticket, who will accompany the child (if anyone), who will be responsible for picking the child up from the airport, and how changes in flight plans will be handled.
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Long distance parenting plans must be tailored specifically to fit a family’s circumstances. For help crafting your own parenting plan, please call dedicated child visitation and time-sharing lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.