Some Crucial Things To Include in Your Florida Parenting Plan
A parenting plan must be established in any divorce action where children are involved. A parenting plan is a written document that outlines how divorced parents will raise their children. It outlines how divorced parents will share the duties of childcare and decision-making in regard to their children. It also outlines how you and the other parent will spend time with your children, essentially where the children will spend their days and nights. In Florida, parents are allowed and encouraged to agree on parenting plans. After divorcing parents agree on a parenting plan, the court must approve it before it can go into effect. If parents cannot agree on a parenting plan, the court will establish a plan on behalf of the parents. It is usually best for parents to establish a parenting plan on their own rather than let the court establish the plan. Establishing a parenting plan on your own allows for creating planning. It allows you to achieve personal objectives.
When creating a parenting plan, you must be as detailed as possible. You must ensure your parenting plan is specific enough to provide clear guidance and prevent problems in the future. Below, we share some of the crucial things to include in a Florida parenting plan.
Because you will almost certainly need to communicate with your child’s other parent, it is essential that you include in your parenting plan how much or how little you and the other parent will be communicating and the modes of communication you will and won’t be using. For example, you may decide that you communicate best by phone or text messages. However, if you want communications between you and your child’s other parent documented, you may want to agree in the parenting plan that you will use a co-parenting app for communication.
You may include in your parenting plan how you will be disciplining your child. You and your child’s other parent should be on the same page regarding how you will discipline your child. Your child will benefit from stability, and you and the other parent will benefit from being on the same page.
In Florida, child support generally ends before a child goes to college. The law does not require a co-parent to put their child through a college education. It may be wise to include how you and the other parent will pay your child’s college expenses in your parenting plan.
Right of First Refusal
In the timesharing context, the right of first refusal requires that when a parent needs childcare during their parenting time, they must first offer the other parent the opportunity to look after their child before seeking help from a babysitter or another family member. A right of first refusal clause can be a great benefit. This clause can help you and the other parent have as much time as possible with your child. This clause also encourages flexibility and supports communication between parents.
Introducing New Partners
Finally, it may be helpful to agree on when a parent may introduce a new partner to the child. Agreeing beforehand on what is and is not acceptable can prevent heated arguments from arising in the future.
Please note that the above is not an exhaustive list of the things to include in a parenting plan and are merely suggestions and not legal advice.
Get Advice From a Qualified Lakeland Family Lawyer
For more information on what to include in a Florida parenting plan, contact our Lakeland family law attorney at Darla K. Snead, P.L.