Parenting Plans Essential to Child Custody Cases

Florida law requires shared parental responsibility and a parenting plan, also known as time sharing arrangement, when there are minor children involved in a divorce proceeding. Parenting plans are very detailed and specify whether both or one parent will make certain decisions regarding the health, education, extracurricular and religious activities of the child(ren). Some parents have a difficult time communicating with each other about their kids, so the plan may outline how the parties will communicate with each other regarding the needs of the children.

If one parent has typically not been actively involved in the child’s life, the parenting plan should allow access to the children but not disrupt their school schedules, day and after care programs, tutoring, or other special requirements.

Time sharing during the holidays and school as well as summer vacations should be defined.

There are many complex decisions and long range future consequences to consider when entering into parenting plans. Therefore, you should not enter into any agreement until you have spoken with a family law attorney.

Florida law has child support guidelines that must be met; however, child support may be increased or reduced depending on the time sharing arrangement, and that factor needs to be considered as part of the agreement.

A knowledgeable attorney will assist in finalizing the agreement. It’s recommended that the agreement be approved by the court and made part of the court record so that it may be enforced by the court if necessary. Later on, if there are issues with compliance or changes need to be made to the time sharing plan, you’ll want to contact a lawyer; ultimately, your child does not deserve to be a victim of a badly executed plan.