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How Do my Child’s Educational Needs Factor into my Parenting Plan?


When a couple with minor children divorces, a parenting plan is part of their divorce settlement. Parenting plans are legal orders that provide structure for the children’s relationships with their parents after the divorce is finalized. These orders are focused on what the court determines to be in the children’s best interest, which often requires the court to collect data about the children’s medical needs, interpersonal relationships with their parents, social and emotional needs, and educational needs.

To create a parenting plan, the court considers a set of factors included in Florida’s divorce law. None of these factors can determine a parenting plan on its own, except for in extreme cases where any contact with one parent would put the child’s health or safety at risk. In most cases, all the factors are considered together to determine the parenting time and parental responsibilities breakdown that benefits the children most.

Keeping your Child in the Same School Routine is Usually Preferred

Usually, keeping a child in the same school he or she is already attending is deemed to be the best choice for his or her mental health. Changing schools, especially during his or her parents’ divorce, can be extremely stressful for a child.

Staying in the same school is not always realistic, though. Sometimes other factors, like the child’s primary caregiver is moving out of the district, mean the disruption from changing schools is outweighed by certain benefits that come with a specific parenting plan. In other cases, moving to a new school with the relocating parent puts the child into a more enriching school environment.

Your Daily Involvement in your Child’s Education is Considered

One of the factors considered when developing a parenting plan is each parent’s day-to-day involvement in the child’s life. This includes:

  • Helping with homework;
  • Communication with teachers;
  • Role within the school community, such as participating in the PTA;
  • Involvement in any tutoring or other academic enrichment the child receives; and
  • Role as an academic resource for the child.

Extracurricular Activities are Important, Too

Your child’s involvement in extracurricular activities can also factor into his or her parenting plan. As we discussed above, preserving your child’s routine is important to his or her mental health after your divorce. Keeping your child in his or her established routine typically means creating a schedule where he or she is with the parent who handles extracurriculars when doing these activities, like ensuring he or she is with the parent who coaches his or her soccer team on days the team has practices and games.

Work with an Experienced Orlando Family Lawyer

Contact The Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. During your consultation, we will go over your child’s specific educational needs and all other relevant details about your case to determine realistic expectations for your parenting plan. Do not approach this process on your own. Work with an Orlando family lawyer who can be your advocate.



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