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What you need for a parenting plan in Florida

When you're getting a divorce, a parenting plan is necessary whenever a child is involved. It doesn't matter if time-sharing is in dispute or not; this is something the court requires. Both parents must develop and present the plan to the court. The court must then approve it; it may not approve a plan that is unfair to one parent over the other when it's uncalled for, unless each party can explain the reasoning behind the plan they decide on.

If the court disagrees with the plan that you submit, what happens?

The court itself is allowed to establish a parenting plan. It will potentially look at parenting plan recommendations, but the judge doesn't have to do that. A court's decision regarding time-sharing and custody may be unpredictable, which is why parents who can agree and submit a fair parenting plan should do so.

What information is required in a parenting plan?

The time-sharing schedule is vital. It will show how much time the minor spends with each parent. How the parents will split up the daily tasks and upbringing of the child should be included as well. A designation must be made to show who is responsible for health care, extracurricular activities, school matters and other events. Finally, there must be information on how the parents will communicate with the children, such as will the child talk to the parent on the phone, online or via email.

You'll have the best chance of having your parenting plan approved if it's fair to both parties. Your attorney can help make sure it's formatted correctly and has the information the court needs.

Source: Florida Courts, "Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form, Parenting Plan," accessed Aug. 15, 2016

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