New Parenting Plan Law Goes Into Effect
Last summer, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 590 into law. This bill, which went into effect on January 1st, allows the Department of Revenue to provide parents with a proposed Standard Parenting Time Plan during divorce proceedings. To find out whether the Standard Parenting Time Plan is the best fit for your family, please contact an experienced child custody lawyer who can advise you.
Standard Parenting Time Plan
Under Florida law, all couples who go through a divorce must agree to a Parenting Plan. These documents cover a wide range of parenting-related topics, including:
- A visitation schedule detailing how much time each party will spend with their child, where the children will spend the holidays, and who will be responsible for transportation;
- How child-related expenses will be covered and reimbursed; and
- How parental responsibility will be divided, which includes a discussion of who has the right to make decisions about the child’s education or medical care.
While many parents are able to come up with a Parenting Plan that meets all of the parties’ needs, this is not always possible. Fortunately, the new parenting plan law addresses this situation specifically, so when parents cannot agree on a plan, the Department of Revenue can refer them to a local circuit court where a Standard Parenting Time Plan will be put in place. According to this new law, establishing a parenting plan is a mandatory step that must occur before a child support order can be adopted.
The Standard Parenting Time Plan ensures that non-custodial parents still have access to their child by setting specific visitation times, including:
- Every other weekend from 6:00 p.m. on Friday to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, unless it is a holiday weekend, in which case, the time can be extended;
- One evening per week from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., or if both parents agree, from when the child is released from school until 8:00 p.m.;
- Thanksgiving break during even-numbered years;
- The first half of winter break in odd-numbered years, and the second half of winter break in even-numbered years;
- One week during spring break in even-numbered years; and
- Two weeks following release from school every summer vacation.
The new standardized parenting plan is not available when there are allegations of child abuse or domestic violence, but it is available to parents regardless of whether they are married.
Contact one of Our Dedicated Child Custody Lawyers Today
If you are attempting to come to an agreement with your partner on visitation or another child custody-related matter, you need the guidance and support of an experienced attorney. This is especially true following major changes in the law, such as those that occurred at the beginning of the year. For help with your own case, please call dedicated Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591. You can also reach a member of our legal team by sending us a brief online message.