When parents separate or divorce, they need a game plan for raising the children together even though the parents are not going to stay together. There are three primary areas to consider.
SHARED PARENTAL RESPONSIBILTY- Who makes the decisions? Florida encourages both parents to have equal decision-making authority in the matter of education and medical care. This is called “shared parental responsibility.” If you cannot make decisions together the court can help determine what is in the best interests of the children and order primary or “sole” parental responsibility.
TIMESHARE- Timeshare is the schedule for spending time with mom and dad. Florida is not a 50/50 state. If the parents cannot make a timeshare schedule that is in the best interests of the child, a judge will help you do that. Please google the factors that Florida uses to determine the “best interests of the child” Florida Statute 61.13.
CHILD SUPPORT- Child support is a fact of raising children separately. Child support is based on the combined income of both parties, the costs attributed to health care insurance and the costs for childcare. The number of timeshare overnights also influences the amount of child support to be paid. Child support is paid until the child turns 18 or, if still in high school, child support is paid until the child graduates high school.
Deborah Cook is skilled at helping mothers and fathers identify the family dynamics that best support a healthy life for your children. Parenting Plans are about the children, they are not about the parents. If you can set your own needs aside and make your children’s needs the priority, you will be prepared for a lifetime of joyful co-parenting. Unlike child support that lasts until age 18, parenting lasts for a lifetime.