Parents going through a divorce want to help ensure their child makes it through to the other side as stress-free as possible and that their child continues to grow and thrive post-divorce. For this reason, when it comes to time-sharing in Florida (also referred to as custody and visitation), the court requires that a parenting plan be established.
When is a parenting plan necessary?
Florida law states that all parents who are granted time-sharing over their child must develop a parenting plan, which will then be approved by the court. A parenting plan is required even if the parents are in agreement about their time-sharing rights. If parents cannot work out a parenting plan together out-of-court, the court will establish one that they must follow.
What should be included in a parenting plan?
At a minimum, parenting plans should address the following elements. First, it should include adequate provisions detailing how each parent will share and have responsibility over the day-to-day care and upbringing of the child. It should also include provisions regarding when each parent will have the child in their care. A parenting plan should also include provisions stating that either parent can consent to medical care and mental health care for the child. The parenting plans should include the home address that will be used to determine where the child will go to school along with other school-related matters. Any other activities the child is involved in should be addressed in the parenting plan. Finally, the parenting plan should include information on how the child will be allowed to communicate with each parent when not in that parent’s care.
Parenting plans are one way that divorced parents can ensure they are on the same page regarding time-sharing. This provides the child with the stability they need post-divorce. It can also reduce conflict between the parents, which also benefits the child who might otherwise be caught between two warring parents.