Common Mistakes to Avoid When Negotiating Florida Timesharing Agreements
Negotiating timesharing with your soon-to-be former spouse can be a difficult and tedious process. You already are feeling the stress of divorce yourselves and you cannot bear to think about the emotional toll it will take on your children. So how can you make sure the agreement will be in the best interests for your children and your family? Below are some common mistakes to avoid when negotiating your timesharing agreement:
Do Not Sign Anything You Do Not Understand
Lawyers can at times draft documents with language they and the judges are familiar with, but may not make sense to you. You need to go through all the provisions with your lawyer so you understand your rights pursuant to the agreement and how the provisions will be implemented once you are divorced.
Walk Through Your Parenting Schedule
It is important to not just write a schedule down without thinking through how it will be implemented. First, you should ensure your agreement addresses specific pickup and drop-off times. Second, you should ensure your agreement addresses which parent shall be responsible for transportation of the child before and after parenting time. Finally, you should try to go through your schedule and the logistics to ensure it fits for your work schedule and other activities and obligations you may have. In addition to going through your regular parenting schedule, you should go through the vacation/break and holiday schedules to ensure you are getting the time you wish with your children. Particularly, for a holiday schedule, you should address any holidays that you specifically celebrate that may not be common for all couples (such as religious holidays).
Do Not Put Your Children in the Middle
Parents at times will be tempted to put their children in between them when negotiating the terms of their parenting agreement. However, this often results in alienation of the children from one of the parents and may result in one child placing blame on one parent for the divorce.
Tailor the Documents to Your Family
There is no such thing as a cookie cutter parenting agreement. However, lawyers are not mind readers so do not expect your lawyer to know what provisions are important to you and your family. Specifically, if your children have always gone to the same summer camp for eight years and you anticipate they will continue in that camp, you should make sure that is included in the summer schedule.
Contact Us Today for Assistance
One mistake that was not mentioned above was the mistake of parents not hiring counsel for negotiating parenting agreements. It is important that you hire an experienced attorney who understands all the necessary provisions to insert in a parenting agreement to avoid future litigation costs. The experienced Winter Park family law attorneys at Cotter & Zelman, P.A. can help you go through and confusing language in your agreement and make sure it will be tailored for you and your spouse. Contact us today for a free consultation.