How the State of Florida Governs Parenting Plans
Florida Law requires parents of minor children to have a Parenting Plan to address the rights and responsibilities of each parent with regards to the children after separation. The purpose of the plan is to set forth guidelines on how the parents will share time and other major decisions regarding the children. A Parenting Plan is required by the courts even if both parents agree on all child issues.
Most Parenting Plans will include terms that dictate:
- How the parents will share the daily tasks of co-parenting
- Schedules and timesharing arrangements, including when the children will spend time with each parent, how they will be transported between the parties, and plans for holidays
- The parent’s home designated as the residence for school boundaries
- The methods and technologies the parents will use to communicate with the children
Most Parenting Plans include:
- The contact information of both the parents.
- Names and birthdates of the children.
- Whether the parents will share parental responsibility, whether one parent will have more decision-making authority than the other, or whether a parent is to have sole parental responsibility.
- How parents will handle day-to-day decision-making when they may not be able to coordinate with one another, or on non-major issues.
- How decisions will be made regarding extra-curricular activities (and associated costs).
- How parents will share information about their children (unless otherwise prohibited by law, each parent shall have access to medical and school records and be permitted to consult with any and all professionals involving the children.)
- Scheduling details including information about the school calendar, school holidays, and any information about how the schedule changes will be handled.
- A timesharing schedule for each child for weekdays, weekends, and specific holidays and school breaks. The Parenting Plan sets out how many overnights each parent will have with each child. This fact is important and must be specifically included in the plan and it does impact child support.
- Transportation needs of each child and how these will be handled, including who shall be doing the transporting, and how these costs are to be allocated. In addition to day-to-day transportation, this could include transportation for vacations, holidays and school breaks.
- How communication will be handled between each child and each parent, and how the parents shall communicate with each other about each child.
- Any other issues which may be particular to the family.
A good Parenting Plan will address many of the details that may arise in co-parenting minor children. Taking the time to work out the details of a Parenting Plan may require effort and patience, but a well thought out Parenting Plan can make life much easier for all parties going forward. It keeps the focus on the best interests of the children, which is the goal of both the parents and the courts.
Need to Establish a Parenting Plan? Contact Our Family Lawyer
If you are concerned about how to handle timesharing after separation, call Ambrose Family Law today at (407) 388-8740 to schedule a consultation. Attorney Ambrose has more than 30 years’ experience working with families in timesharing matters.