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The importance of parenting plans for joint custody families

If you and your child's parent have decided to call it quits, there is a process associated with determining custody of that child, among other topics. Maybe you and your spouse have been living separately for awhile now and you want the child custody situation to be more defined. Whatever the motivation, Tampa family court can hand down a decision to a family's custody situation. Many parents decide that drafting a parenting plan is helpful is outlining the duties and responsibilities of both parties.

When it comes to child custody, many parents (and courts agree) that joint custody is an optimal custody arrangement. Joint custody offer some level of split-custody of a child for both parents. However, raising a child from separate households can be challenging. What parent is expected to do what task and so on? This is where parenting plans come in.

The written agreement first discusses and then both parents agree to details of the custody arrangement. For example, where the child will reside and in joint-custody situations when they reside with each parent. The agreement also determines who makes the big decisions for the child, also known as legal custody. However, these agreements can be customized as far as specific duties and responsibilities of each parent that are crafted with the best interests of the child in mind.

For example, if a child is a successful athlete, the parenting agreement may discuss who pays for the sport, who takes the child on the weekends to the events and so on. If parents are willing to discuss and agree to things ahead of time, it can make it much less stressful when both parents know what is expected of them in a joint custody arrangement. All parenting agreements have to be submitted to a family court judge for final approval to ensure that the best interests of the child are met. If a child's parents can come together, for a even a short time, to discuss best interests of the child it is a great opportunity to make sure the child's needs are met.

Source:, "The Parenting Agreement," Accessed March 13, 2017

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