Understanding Florida parenting plans
The goal of a parenting plan is to ensure children have frequent and consistent contact with both parents after they divorce. In Florida, a parenting plan is required for all parents who are going through the divorce process.
Parents have a duty to act in a manner that promotes the welfare of their children and supports a positive relationship with the other parent. The parenting plan sets out how the parents will share the day-to-day responsibilities of raising their children and their decision-making. It also addresses the regular time the child will spend with each parent, including holiday and break schedules.
Parenting plan factors
When the court approves a parenting plan, it does so with the best interests of the children in mind. It may consider many different factors which include the capacity of each parent to facilitate and encourage a close relationship with the other parent, each parent’s ability to adhere to the time-sharing schedule, the moral fitness of the parents and the parents’ mental and physical health.
The court has an interest in maintaining a stable, suitable living environment for the children and in limiting the amount of time the child has to travel between the parents. It may also consider the effects the parenting plan could have on the child’s school performance and community involvement. In addition, if it is appropriate to do so, the court may consider the child’s preference.
In Florida, parents are required to attend a parenting course on the effects of divorce on families and children before the divorce is finalized.
An experienced attorney can provide advice about parenting plans and related child custody matters.