Parenting Plans in Florida: Understanding the Basics
Under Florida law, whenever a case involves time-sharing and minor children, the parents must craft a ‘parenting plan’. In fact, parenting plans are even required in cases where there is no actual disagreement between the two parents. Florida courts look to the parents to come up with an equitable plan that is in the best interests of their children and meets all of the state’s requirement. However, if the parents are unwilling or unable to come up with a parenting plan, the court has the power to craft a plan on their own. If you are involved in a child time sharing dispute in Central Florida, it is important that you understand the basics of parenting plans.
Four Things that Must Be Addressed in a Parenting Plan
- Day-to-day responsibilities: There must be a highly detailed explanation of how parental responsibilities will be divided. This statement should include extensive details about all typical aspects of raising a child and how the parents will deal with those responsibilities.
- Scheduling and other logistics: Parenting plans exists to provide clarity and reduce conflict over logistical matters. A parenting plan must include a schedule that is reasonably specific. A vague schedule will not be approved by the court.
- Decision-making: The plan must also select the parent who will have the final decision on important issues related to education and health-care. When a child needs to see a doctor, there is no time for an argument. There must be a clear decision-making process established to ensure that important decisions are made in an efficient manner.
- Parent-child communication: The plan must clearly spell out each parent’s ability to communicate with the child. This includes everything from how frequently communication should occur to which form of technology can be used.
How to Create the Best Parenting Plan for You and Your Child
You do not want a Florida court to set up a parenting plan for you. Ultimately, as fair as the court will try to be, they are not in the best position to create the ideal parenting plan. The best parenting plans are created collaboratively by the parents involved in the case. If you are going through a divorce, or if you are in a child custody dispute, you need to get an experienced attorney involved as soon as is possible. This is true even if you are on good terms with your child’s other parent. Your attorney can help you work with the other parent to set up a parenting plan that fully conforms with Florida law, protects the wellbeing of your child, and protects your best interests.
Do You Need Family Law Assistance in Central Florida?
The compassionate Orlando family law team attorneys at the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. can help. To learn more about what our team for you in your case, please call us today at (407) 521-7171 to schedule your confidential case evaluation. We represent families throughout Central Florida, including in Kissimmee and Altamonte Springs.