A parenting plan outlines how you and your coparent will share responsibility for your children after a divorce or separation. It should detail how you will divide time and other important information about child custody.
Understanding the process of creating a parenting plan in Florida can help you cooperate for the best interests of your children.
Reviewing Florida’s parenting plan requirements
State law mandates the creation of a parenting plan in any child custody case. The plan must address various aspects of parental responsibility, time-sharing and decision-making.
Identifying parental responsibility
Florida recognizes shared parental responsibility and sole parental responsibility. Shared responsibility involves both parents making decisions together. Sole responsibility grants one parent exclusive decision-making authority.
If you share parental responsibility, document how you will make decisions together about your child’s education, healthcare, religion and extracurricular activities. This may involve joint decision-making or assigning specific responsibilities to each parent. According to the Institute for Family Studies, 40% of separated or divorced American parents share custody.
Deciding on time-sharing arrangements
Create a detailed schedule that outlines when the child will spend time with each parent. Be specific about weekdays, weekends, holidays, school breaks and special occasions. Ensure that the schedule aligns with the child’s school and extracurricular activities.
Establishing lines of communication
Outline how parents will communicate with each other about important matters about the child. Document an official method for discussing and making decisions, such as phone calls, emails or in-person meetings.
Discussing relocation provisions
If either parent plans to move a significant distance, the parenting plan should address relocation. Florida law sets specific requirements for notice and consent when relocating with a child.
Making a plan to resolve disputes
Detail the steps you will take in the event of disagreements or disputes between parents regarding parenting issues. This may involve mediation or other methods for resolving conflicts. You should also include a section that addresses how and when either party can modify the parenting plan.
Once you have created a draft of the parenting plan, review it carefully to ensure that it addresses all necessary aspects. Both parents must sign the parenting plan before filing it with the court that has jurisdiction over your child custody case. The court will review the plan to make sure it is in your child’s best interest before giving approval.