When parents file for divorce, the children often suffer the most. They must deal with not knowing who to side with or who to turn to, which can be very confusing. While a parenting plan establishes a time-sharing schedule, it does much more. It can provide security and a sense of stability for your kids.
Your parenting plan is a legally binding contract that details your duties as a parent and how you will share them with the other parent. It must have approval from the court before it can be enforceable.
What should be in your Florida parenting plan?
Under Florida law, only a court may grant, approve or modify a parenting plan. You can develop a parenting plan with the other parent and submit it to court for approval. If you and the other parent cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will grant one according to what it determines is in your children’s best interests. At a minimum, your parenting plan should include the following:
- An adequate and comprehensive description of how the parents will share parental responsibilities for the daily tasks involved with the overall upbringing of the children
- Time-sharing schedule arrangements include holidays, birthdays, weekdays, weekends, school breaks and all other days in a year
- Designations of each parent’s parental responsibility and whether they will share authority over all decisions or distribute them accordingly
- The methods and technologies that parents will use to communicate with their children
Because the parenting plan is a contract, you may also want to include terms and conditions that protect your parental rights.
What else can a parent put in the parenting plan?
The parenting plan can include how you communicate with the other parent and where you will exchange the children. It can consist of conflict resolution methods to address future disputes. You can also add restrictions on out-of-state or international travel with the children.
You should ensure your parenting plan is thorough and covers all relevant and applicable issues that may arise while co-parenting.