Why You Should Consider Including Natural Disaster-Related Custody Provisions in Your Parenting Plan
As Florida makes its way firmly into hurricane season, residents across the state are reassessing their emergency plans, stocking up on supplies, and boarding up their homes. Parents who share custody of their children, in addition to taking these steps, may also want to reassess their parenting plans and visitation arrangements to ensure that they reflect potential natural disasters. Natural disasters, like Hurricane Dorian, which recently ravaged the Bahamas often make it impossible for parents to comply with the terms of their custody arrangements. Recognizing this, many Florida parents put special emergency provisions in their parenting plans that address how custody arrangements will be handled during natural disasters.
If you already have this type of provision in your own parenting agreement, this may be a good time to reevaluate it and ensure that it is in your family’s best interests. If, on the other hand, this type of clause is not included in your parenting plan, you should consider speaking with an experienced Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney who can help you decide whether amending your parenting plan is an appropriate course of action in your case.
Emergency Parenting Plan Provisions
Natural disasters have the potential to wreak havoc on every part of our lives, including relationships with our children. A hurricane or tropical storm, for instance, could make it impossible to safely transport a child to his or her other parent, while in other cases, an emergency could make it necessary to evacuate with a child to avoid emergency weather conditions. Parenting plans can include provisions that specifically address these types of situations and detail what parents should do when a disaster strikes. For example, some parents choose to include a provision stating that in emergency situations, the parent who is with the child can fail to comply with the standard parenting time schedule and instead, can take whatever actions would be in a child’s best interests, including evacuation or sheltering in place.
In addition to these types of provisions, many parents also choose to include specific steps that the parties must take during emergencies to keep in contact with the child’s other parent. Even when these directions are not included in a parenting plan, however, it’s still a good idea to communicate regularly with a child’s other parent to discuss what actions should be taken in the event that communication is interrupted.
Contact an Experienced Child Custody Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
Keeping one’s children safe should be a parent’s primary concern at all times, but especially during a natural disaster. Parents who can do this while also informing the child’s other parent of their plans is highly advisable in these cases. However, once this has been achieved and a disaster is no longer looming, parents should strongly consider obtaining legal advice about any deficiencies in their parenting plans when it comes to disaster planning. To discuss your own parenting plan with a dedicated Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney, please call Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 today.