Items That Need to Be in Your Parenting Plan in Florida

Custody agreements in Florida are known as parenting plans. Parenting plans are required in divorces between spouses who have children. Within these plans are the rights and responsibilities of each parent regarding the child’s upbringing and care.

To be valid, a parenting plan must demonstrate that it has the best interests of the child in mind and not the interests of the parents. Hence, it must include certain elements that show the court that the child or children will be sufficiently looked after and raised. Some of these elements are detailed below.

Time-Sharing Schedule

The time-sharing schedule details when the child lives and spends time with each of their parents. The most optimal time-sharing schedules have the following characteristics:

  • They provide minimal disruptions to the child
  • They provide safety and protection for the child
  • They keep children away from conflict
  • They cause parent-child relationships to thrive
  • They are prospective and anticipate future changes and events

Various arrangements can work well. Details often depend on the age of the child as well as the child’s schooling and activities and the work schedules of the parents.

Division of Child-Rearing Tasks

A parenting plan must also detail how the many tasks related to child rearing are divided among the parents. Who is responsible for attending school-related activities such as parent-teacher conferences, and who makes sure the child gets to and from activities and events?

Decision-Making Processes for Life Decisions

Children are unable to legally make many of their own life decisions, such as decisions regarding medical treatment, education decisions, and more. Hence, the parenting plan must contain provisions that identify which parent is responsible for each life decision the child is unable to make.

Decision-Making Processes for Child Rearing Expenses

Raising a child requires money — after a divorce, the parents must work out which parent will pay for which expense. The parenting plan should contain provisions designating which parent is responsible for every expense that arises, including:

  • Clothing
  • Medical
  • Schooling
  • Activities
  • Entertainment

Expense provisions should also include terms relating to allowances if the child is old enough.

Mechanisms to Deal with Schedule and Plan Changes

The best-laid plans are subject to change. So a parenting plan should have some sort of mechanism to handle instances when changes are necessary.

In the best of cases, parents can handle changes between themselves, which is most possible when the changes are contemplated beforehand. However, if the parents cannot agree to changes, the court will have to get involved.

Conflict Resolution Measures

Conflict is why spouses separate. So it is not surprising that conflicts arise during the post-divorce rearing of a child or children. Fortunately, parents can include conflict resolution provisions within their parenting plan that help them resolve issues that arise.

One provision that can help requires the use of a parent coordinator. A parent coordinator is a trained professional who works with parents to resolve conflicts that the parents cannot resolve on their own.

Contact an Attorney Today to Discuss the Items You Need in a Parenting Plan

A parenting plan is a blueprint for the future. With the help of an experienced family law attorney, parents can create a solid plan that will benefit all parties involved. Contact The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm for help today.