During divorce proceedings, a parenting plan must be submitted and approved by the court. The parenting plan sets forth how you and your former spouse and co-parent will raise your shared children. Essentially, it sets the terms for post-divorce parenting. The court generally prefers that the parents reach an agreement on the terms of the parenting plans for themselves, but, in the event that the parents cannot reach an agreement, the court will step in.
What to Include in a Parenting Plan.
Courts tend to have a preference for comprehensive parenting plans that include details surrounding things such as visitation schedules and arrangements as well as how disagreements between the co-parents should be resolved. When approaching the development of your parenting plan, it is a good idea to first be aware of the types of things that should be addressed. Address each issue with as much detail as you can. Being clear on the rights and responsibilities of both parents will be important to a successful co-parenting relationship after divorce.
A parenting plan should include provisions for:
- Legal custody issues: This includes fundamental decisions impacting how the child will be raised.
- The education plans for each child: Depending on the age of the child, this may include whether the child will attend day care or be watched by a family member or some other type of arrangement. For older children, this may address whether the child will attend public or private school.
- Routine parenting time: Outline when and how your child will go between your two households. This can and should include things such as when pick-up and drop-off will occur, where pick-up and drop-off will occur, as well as the means of transportation and how the parents will communicate details of the logistics involved.
- Holiday parenting time: Go through a list of annual holidays and decide who will get to spend what holiday with the child. If you want to split time on a holiday, specify so. Detail whether holiday parenting time will take priority over routine parenting time. Outline when exactly holiday parenting time will start and stop.
- Covering college expenses: Address who will be responsible for what part in saving for the child’s college education. Determine the responsibility of each parent as far as how much should be contributed to a savings plan and how regularly this should occur.
Other provisions for the parenting plan should include:
- Extracurriculars of the children
- Dispute resolution methods
- Relocation of one parent
- Domestic and international travel restrictions
- Communication methods between co-parents and the child
A court will approve a plan that creates a safe, stable, and supportive environment for a child.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
In a parenting plan, a court will look to see how you will divide parenting responsibilities and duties so that the physical, mental, and emotional needs of your child will be met in post-divorce life. For help developing a parenting plan that is best for you and your family, talk to the trusted family law attorneys at Orlando Family Team. Contact us today.