What is a parenting plan?

For parents in Florida who are going through a divorce, a parenting plan helps define details about child custody and major decisions that are made about the child's upbringing. This plan is court ordered and is valid through both the separation and divorce proceedings.

According to Washington Law Help, a parenting plan outlines a number of important considerations. These include custody decisions, which parent is responsible for making important decisions such as healthcare, how much time each parent gets to spend with the child and how major disagreements between the parents are dealt with. 

As the Florida Courts state, the best interests of the child are considered when determining the details of a parenting plan. Some of the factors that the court considers include:

  • The expected division of parental responsibilities, including those with a third party such as a nanny or grandparent
  • The physical and mental health of each parent
  • The capacity of each parent to provide a good environment, foster a loving parent-child relationship and to honor the custody schedule
  • The values and morals of each party
  • The ability to provide a consistent and responsible schedule for the child
  • The amount of time the child has lived in a stable environment 

If the child is older and understands the situation, his or her opinion and input is considered in the court's decision. Circumstances such as domestic abuse, child neglect and sexual violence are greatly considered, and if evidence is presented in regard to these, the court must acknowledge that the information was used in evaluating and determining custody decisions.  

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Beverly L. Brennan, P.A.
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