In the state of Florida, all cases involving responsibility for the care of children require parenting plans.
The court has certain requirements. Here are four important elements to include when drafting your plan.
1. Sharing of rights and responsibilities
Explain which parent will be in charge of making important decisions for your children. Examples are decisions about education, healthcare, religious upbringing, discipline and extracurricular activities.
2. Time-sharing scheduling
Your time-sharing schedule will be of special interest to the court. Explain how you will manage transportation between homes when visiting with children. Also explain how your time-sharing schedule will change as the children grow; for example, as infants become toddlers. You will also have to decide how you will manage changes to the regular schedule for holidays or for special events like a child’s birthday celebration.
3. Communicating with children, each other
How do you and the other parent plan to communicate with each other about the children—by phone, email or text? How will you and the children communicate?
4. Making changes
Your parenting plan should show how you will go about making changes. As long as you both agree, you can make changes to the plan outside of court. However, if you are in conflict over a change you may have to turn to an attorney or a parenting coordinator for assistance in resolving the issue.
Meeting court requirements
When writing your parenting plan, remember that the court expects you to use language that leaves no opportunity for misinterpretation. You can rely on legal guidance to ensure that you do not leave out any information the court requires.