Parenting Plans in Florida Divorce and Child Custody Cases
The Florida Statues set the parameters of what constitutes a parenting pan in a Florida divorce or child custody case. Florida Statute Section 61.046(14) defines a parenting plan as a “document created to govern the relationship between the parents relating to decisions which must be made regarding the minor child and must contain a timesharing schedule for the parents and child. The issues concerning the minor child may include, but are not limited to, the child’s education, healthcare and physical, social and emotional wellbeing. In creating the plan, all circumstances between the parents, including their historic relationship, domestic violence, and other factors must be taken into consideration.” Florida Statute Section 61.046(22) defines a timesharing schedule as a “timetable that must be included in the parenting plan which specifies the time, including overnights and holidays, that a minor child will spend with each parent. If developed and agreed to by the parents of a minor child, it must be approved by the Court. If the parties cannot agree, this schedule shall be established by the Court.”
What Should a Parenting Plans Contain:
- A time-sharing schedule that makes clear to the parties and to the court which parent will exercise time sharing or visitation with the child at a given time.
- It should provide a designation of parental responsibility whether it be shared parental responsibility, shared parental responsibility or sole parental responsibility.
- It should provide for electronic communication between the children and the parents and address the cost and technology that is to be used to facilitate the communication.
- It should provide for how the parents plan to handle the daily tasks and responsibilities associated with parenting the children.
Our Florida divorce and child custody lawyers understand that a parenting plan should not simply be comprised of boiler plate language but instead should be carefully drafted to address the unique needs of each family and each child.
The Court has the Final Say in Determining Child Custody Issues
While the parents of a child are free to agree to a parenting plan, all decisions involving child custody are subject to review and approval by the court. Florida Statute 61.13 obligates the court to make all child custody determinations based on the best interest of the child. Even when parents reach an agreed upon parenting plan and timesharing schedule the court is required to review the parenting plan and time-sharing provisions and make an expressed finding that the agreement is in the best interest of the minor children. Our Florida attorneys are well versed in the factors that the court must review in determining the best interest of the child and have a history of arguing cases proving a proposed parenting plan is in the best interest of the child or simply drafting agreed upon parenting plans and having the court approve the parenting plans.
Florida Divorce and Child Custody Lawyers
If you are facing a child custody case and need legal counsel our firm has offices in Florida, Panama City, Pensacola, Fort Walton and Orlando. We are here to help you present your child custody case to the court or to help you avoid animosity by drafting an agreed upon parenting plan. Call our office today and schedule your free consultation.