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Parenting plans in Florida – What is required?

A new Florida law designed to streamline Florida parenting plans as part of an administrative order that establishes paternity or addresses child support was recently created. On January 1, Florida’s Department of Revenue gained the authority to offer parents a proposed Standard Parenting Time Plan which helps parents determine important issues such as where the couple’s child will live and how the various elements of parental responsibility will be assigned. This plan helps to facilitate communication between non-custodial parents and their children. If parents are unable to agree on a plan, they are able to rely on the assistance of a circuit court judge who can help establish a parenting plan. The State of Florida already requires parents to create a parenting plan in all family cases in which a child is involved. This article will review some of the important issues that a person should know about parenting plans in Florida.

Matters which may be addressed in Florida Parenting Plans

Some of the main matters which are addressed in Florida parenting plans are as follows:

  • Time Sharing.  Florida Parenting Plans are required to include time-sharing schedule arrangements specifying the time that a child will spend with each parent. These schedules require taking various factors into consideration including child care costs, the child’s needs, and the parents work schedules. Many parents decide for a child to spend every other weekend with a parent and one overnight midweek. Other families decide to split the child’s time evenly between parents.
  • Child Care. Deciding how a child’s care will be handled is a particularly important matter to be addressed in Florida parenting plans regarding children of a certain age. With younger children, it is important to make sure the child will always have supervision, which might require deciding on child care services. In accordance with Florida’s first refusal law, if either parent requires child care for a certain number of hours, the other parent can be given the opportunity to take care of the child during this time.
  • Relocation. Florida Law dictates that certain requirements must be met by a parent wishing to move more than 50 miles away for at least 60 consecutive days from his/her residence at the time the parenting plan is ordered.
  • Traveling With Children. This subject is an important one that should be included in Florida parenting plans. Many times, parents will require that the other parent provides notice before traveling with the child. A traveling parent might also be required to submit a detailed schedule to the other parent.
  • Vacations. Many Florida parenting plans address which parent  a child will spend time with on vacations or during school breaks. Many parents decide to alternate who spends time with the child during these periods.
Obtain the Services of a Skilled Florida Family Law Attorney

After a parenting plan is finalized by a court, a parenting plan will be enforced by the court as any other order would be. As a result, it is important for parents who enter into parenting plans to make sure that their documents are properly created and fully reflect their wishes. Attorney Natalie Hall has the experience necessary to help you negotiate the important specialized provisions of your parenting plan.

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