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Four Elements To Include In Your Parenting Plan


If you are getting a divorce and you and your spouse have children together, you will both have to create a parenting plan together. Ideally, you and your spouse will agree on the plan but if that is not the case, the court will create the plan. Creating a plan on your own is not as straightforward as it may sound.

The courts place several requirements on these plans, such as what to include in yours. If the court finds your plan does not fulfill these requirements, a judge may invalidate a portion of the plan or the plan in its entirety. Below, our Orlando child custody and time sharing lawyer outlines four important elements to include in yours.

Dividing Parental Rights and Responsibilities 

Other states recognize the term ‘legal custody’ as the ability of one or both parents to make important decisions for the child. In Florida, this same legal right is known as parental responsibility. The parent who is awarded parental responsibility can make decisions for the child regarding their education, religion, and healthcare they will receive. Except for in extreme cases, it is recommended that both parents have shared parental responsibility. In these cases, the parenting plan should outline the role each parent will play.

The Time-Sharing Schedule 

The element most people first consider when it comes to the parenting plan is the time-sharing schedule. This schedule outlines when the child will spend time with each parent. In addition to the daily and weekly schedules of the child, there are other specifics to include in this portion of the plan, as well. These include how the schedule may change as the child gets older, and which parent will spend certain holidays and birthdays with the child. The time-sharing schedule should also include details about how the child will be transported from one parent’s home to the other.

Parental Communication

 While it may not be easy to work and cooperate with your spouse post-divorce, it is essential that you do. Include in your parenting plan how you will communicate with the other parent about matters regarding the children to avoid disputes in the future. Also detail how both of you will communicate with the child when they are with their other parent.

Future Modifications 

The details you include in your parenting plan today may not be practical in the future. As life changes, so too, must your parenting plan. Include details in the plan about how you will approach modifications in the months and years to come. If both parents can agree to the changes, you can make them outside of the courtroom. It is worth noting that generally, future modifications of the parenting plan can be difficult as Florida Law requires that there be a substantial and unanticipated change in circumstances to warrant such a modification. Florida courts have deemed this to be an extraordinary burden as final judgments are intended to be final and public policy is to maintain stability and consistency for children. You must make sure that the parenting plan is done right the first time and not count on a future modification.

Our Child Custody and Time-Sharing Lawyer in Orlando Can Assist with Your Plan 

At Anderson & Ferrin, P.A., our Orlando child custody and time-sharing lawyer can help you draft a parenting plan that suits your family’s needs and that will be approved by the court. To learn more call us now at 407-412-7041 or connect with us online to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.




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