Orange County is a desirable place to live, containing some of Central Florida’s most prominent attractions, including Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort, as well as many gorgeous parks and memorable museums. Despite this, Orange County, like the rest of Florida, has a percentage of divorces well above the national average.
For most parents, the most difficult part of working out a divorce agreement is devising a parenting plan acceptable to both parties. Generally, if approved by both parents, the parenting plan will be approved by the court. If you are contemplating divorce in Orange County, seeking out the skilled and compassionate parenting plan attorneys of Orlando Family Team is a wise move.
After more than two decades in practice, we are tuned into the family dynamics of divorce and have extensive experience dealing with its financial and logistical considerations. Contact us to discuss the approach to constructing a parenting plan that will work best for your children while protecting your parental rights.
Issues an Orange County Parenting Plan Must Address
A parenting plan establishes and describes in detail how divorced parents will share the responsibilities of raising their children and making important decisions regarding their care. The primary issue that must be addressed is who will have child custody.
There are two kinds of child custody: legal and physical. Legal custody is almost always awarded to both parents, concerning as it does the authority to make significant decisions about the child’s education, healthcare, religious upbringing, and general welfare. Physical custody describes with whom the child lives most of the time.
In Joint or Sole Custody, the Rights of Both Parents Must Be Preserved
Although in most cases, the court prefers joint physical custody in which the children spend half of their time with each parent, this arrangement is not always feasible, either because the parents live too far apart from one another (more than 50 miles) or because one or both parents have challenging schedules. If sole custody is unavoidable, parenting time for the noncustodial parent will have to be mapped out fairly during divorce negotiations or, if necessary, in a courtroom.
How Standard Parenting Time Is Determined in Orange County
According to state law, Florida’s standard parenting time for the noncustodial parent includes:
- Every other weekend, typically the second and fourth weekend of each month
from school closure on Friday to 6 pm on Sunday.
- One evening per week (optional), usually dinner and a visit that ends early (typically running from 6 to 8 pm) to coincide with the child’s bedtime routine. This weekend may be extended if it includes a Friday or Monday school holiday.
- Thanksgiving break in even-numbered years, from either school closure or 6 pm (both parents must agree on the earlier time) on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving until 6 p.m. on the following Sunday.
- Winter break in odd-numbered years, the first half of winter break, from the child’s release from school, beginning at 6 p.m. or, if both parents agree, upon the child’s release from school, until noon on December 26th. In even-numbered years, the second half of winter break from noon on December 26 until 6 p.m. on the day before school resumes or, if both parents agree, upon the child’s return to school.
- Spring break in even-numbered years, the week of spring break from 6 p.m. the day the child is released from school until 6 p.m. the night before school resumes. If both parents agree, the spring break parenting time may begin upon the child’s release from school and end upon the child’s return to school the following Monday
- Summer break for 2 weeks in the summer beginning at 6 p.m. the first Sunday following the last day of school.
Although the above parenting time sounds extremely rigid, the majority of parents can be flexible when it comes to dealing with their ex-spouse’s work schedule, important family occasions, episodes of parental or child illness, etc. Nonetheless, these stated rules give an idea of how much parenting time should be arranged for the noncustodial parent. Hopefully, both parents are looking out for the well-being of the child and will be accommodating when necessary.
When you work with our parenting time attorneys, you will find us adept at negotiations with the opposing attorney and diplomatic enough to work out an arrangement that is comfortable for you. If not, we are sharp litigators and will fight aggressively for your rights and your children’s rights at trial.
Four Parenting Plan Options in Florida
There are four parenting plan choices in Florida:
- The Basic Plan which we have just examined in detail.
- The Long Distance Plan is for parents who live at least 50 miles apart and therefore cannot share joint custody, whether or not the two are both in Florida.
- The Highly Structured Plan is designed for parents who struggle to agree on issues of shared responsibility for their children and time-sharing and have serious trouble communicating civilly with one another but have no abuse or drug issues.
- The Safety Focused Plan is for ex-spouses who do not agree on shared parental responsibility, have serious trouble communicating without aggression, and between whom there are issues of domestic violence, child abuse, substance abuse, and/or criminal behavior.
If you require assistance with any of these plans, our parenting plan attorneys have the proven talent to bring you a successful outcome that will keep you and your children safe and well-tended whichever parent they are with. If you fear that your ex-spouse is a danger to your children, we will fight ferociously in court to make sure that they only see their other parent under protective supervision.
Contact Our Experienced Orange County Parenting Plan Attorneys Now
Not only can you depend on our legal team to provide you with excellent representation and advocacy during the divorce process. If your situation changes and you require modifications to your parenting plan, you can count on our prompt response. Contact us today to discuss your options. Our goal, like yours, is to get results that work best for you and your children.