Don’t Forget to Include These Important Details in Your Parenting Plan
Under Florida law, all divorcing couples who share minor children are required to create a parenting plan detailing how parenting time and decision making responsibility will be divided between the parties upon dissolution of their marriage. In fact, a divorce will only be finalized when these plans are approved by the courts, so if two parents are unable to agree to the terms of a custody arrangement, a judge will step in and create a parenting plan that he or she believes is in the child’s best interests.
Failing to include certain details can result in the denial of a parenting plan, so if you and your spouse have decided to separate and you share children, it is important to consult with an experienced time sharing attorney who can ensure that your plan is drafted properly and reflects your child’s best interests.
The Elements of a Parenting Plan
Divorcing couples are required to draft parenting plans if they have minor children, even when time sharing is not disputed. These plans must be developed by the parents and then approved by a judge, unless the parties are unable to agree, in which case, the court will create one on the parents’ behalf. In either case, a parenting plan should contain certain information, including a parenting schedule that details how much time each parent will spend with their child on weekdays, weekends, holidays, and summer vacation.
Parents should also include information about the child’s medical care, what the parties will do in the event of an emergency situation, how decisions about the child’s education will be made, such as which school they will attend and how the parents will be involved in school events, and whether the child will have a religious upbringing. These are complicated issues that can easily lead to disagreement and conflict, so it is usually in a divorcing couple’s best interests to retain an attorney who can oversee negotiations.
Besides a visitation schedule and details about parental responsibility, parenting plans should also address the following matters:
- The overall goals, principles, and values that will guide the parties’ coparenting relationship;
- A parental code of conduct, which includes information about how often the parties will communicate, the amount of response time that the parties will allow each other following a request, and what types of communication the parties will use;
- Extracurricular activities, including how related costs will be divided, who will transport the child to and from activities, and when each parent will be present for recitals, games, and other events;
- Childcare arrangements, including whether the parties will utilize home-based daycare, babysitting services, after school programs, or the help of family members; and
- Dispute resolution, including a plan for what the parties will do if they cannot agree on an issue related to their children.
To learn more about what you and your spouse should consider putting in your own parenting plan, please contact our legal team today.
An Experienced Time Sharing Attorney
Please call 954-945-7591 today to speak with dedicated Fort Lauderdale child custody lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. about establishing or modifying a parenting plan in your own divorce case.