Reviewing Your Florida Parenting Plan
Parents who share custody of a child in Florida will need to have a parenting plan in place to protect their parental rights and enforce things like visitation and child support. These parenting plans, however, while they are legally enforceable court orders, aren’t set in stone, as they can be modified if the need arises. Reviewing your parenting plan regularly can help ensure that you aren’t using an outdated arrangement that is no longer in a child’s best interests. Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of reviewing your own parenting plan.
The Child’s Needs Have Changed
As children grow older, their needs will change, so what was fitting at the time that a parenting plan was put into place may no longer work for a family after a few years have passed. It’s important to keep an eye out for these changes, which often occur when a child becomes a teenager or enters high school. At these transition points, children often take up new extracurricular activities or new friend groups. In other cases, a child’s developmental or educational needs will dictate a change in a parenting plan. Reviewing your parenting plan at these important junctures is a good idea, as it can help give you a clearer picture of what type of custody arrangement works best for your child as he or she matures.
A Parent’s Lifestyle Has Changed
Children aren’t the only ones who change over time. Only rarely will neither parent experience some sort of major life change, like relocation, a change in employment, remarriage, or the birth or adoption of a new child at some point following their divorce. In these cases, the change may impact a parenting plan, or even make compliance with the plan impossible. To avoid having to change arrangements after a problem with a plan has already occurred, parents should be sure to review their plan immediately prior to, or right after a major life change.
There are Allegations of Substance Abuse or Neglect
The terms of a parenting plan are dictated by what would be in a particular child’s best interests. Of course, if a child’s well-being or safety is in question, then modifying a parenting plan is of the utmost importance. Parents who suspect that their child is being abused or neglected, or that their co-parent is suffering from a substance abuse problem should be sure to review and seek to modify the parenting plan as soon as possible. In these situations, a parent may also need to obtain an emergency custody order.
Review Your Parenting Plan Annually
Even if no major life changes have occurred, it’s still a good idea for co-parents to review their parenting plans every year. Doing so can alert them to an issue that they may have overlooked, but that requires a modification to the custody arrangement.
Call Today for Help with Your Parenting Plan
If you think you may need to change your parenting plan, experienced Fort Lauderdale child visitation and time-sharing lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. can help. We can assist you in determining whether your plan needs to be changed and if so, walk you through the modification process. Call us at 954-945-7591 to set up a free consultation today.