If you are going through a divorce in Florida and you have one or more minor children with your spouse, you must create a parenting plan and have it approved by the court before the divorce is finalized. A parenting plan is a document developed and agreed to by the parents of a minor child. If the parents cannot agree over the contents of a parenting plan, then the court will establish its contents and the parties must follow what the judge determines is in the child’s best interest.
It is the public policy in Florida that all minor children have frequent and continuing contact with both parents. With so many decisions that need to be made in a divorce, very often the parents become frustrated, stressed, and overwhelmed. And if the parents do not communicate well with each other, it is almost impossible to work together. A parenting plan will assist with co-parenting because it will address issues such as the child’s education, health care, and physical, social, and emotional well-being, and it must include a time-sharing schedule.
In Florida, a parenting plan must describe in adequate detail how:
- Parents will share and be responsible for the daily tasks associated with the child;
- Time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent. This can delineate where the child will live during the week and weekends and who will be responsible for taking the child to school;
- A designation of who will be responsible for health care;
- All school-related matters;
Regardless of what is included in your parenting plan, it should be clear and easy to understand. Further, the parenting plan should take into consideration the child’s best interest.