You may have referred it to a custody agreement, but, here in Florida, custody agreements are referred to as “parenting plans.” A parenting plan is required in all child responsibility cases and outlines critical details relating to the parent’s rights and responsibilities in regard to raising their children. The parenting plan will also detail the time-sharing schedule, among other things. A court, however, will not accept a parenting plan that is incomplete or vague. You must be sure that your parenting plan includes specific details or it will be rejected.
What Must Be Included in a Florida Parenting Plan
To begin, there is certain required information that must be detailed in a Florida parenting plan. This information includes:
- A description of how the parents will share the daily tasks associated with raising the child (the rights and responsibilities of each parent in the child’s upbringing)
- A time-sharing schedule specifying the time that the child will spend with each parent
- A designation as to which parent will be responsible for making health care decisions
- A designation as to which parent will be responsible for making school-related decisions and other activities
- A description of how the parents will communicate with the child (including methods and technologies involved)
- A detailing of how educational, medical, and child care expenses will be divided
- An explanation as to how any changes to the plan or schedules will be dealt with
- An explanation as to how any parenting plan disputes will be resolved
These are the basic requirements for a Florida parenting plan, but the more you include and explain in the parenting plan, the more effective your plan will be and the more prepared you will be to handle what the future holds for your family. You should also include things in your plan such as how future needs will change and be addressed accordingly. For instance, a parenting plan may address a time-sharing schedule for an infant, but what will that schedule look like as that infant grows into a toddler, and then up to an elementary age child? Addressing how things will evolve accordingly is best included in the parenting plan as well.
While you can develop your own parenting plan, as long as it includes all of the required information, Florida does offer several types of generic parenting plans you can use as well. The basic parenting plan is most often used by parents that agree, for the most part, on the shared responsibility and time-sharing schedule and also communicate between themselves reasonably well. The long distance plan is also for parents under these circumstances, but the parents are planning to live over 50 miles away from each other. Alternatively, for those parents that are struggling to reach an agreement on parenting plan issues and also are finding it difficult to effectively communicate with one another, the highly-structured parenting plan is an option.
Florida Family Law Attorneys
Do you need assistance developing a comprehensive parenting plan? Let Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou help. Contact us today.