Parenting Plans and Time-Sharing
rechel & associates, p.a.
Parenting Plans and Time-Sharing
In the State of Florida, the terms “custody” and “visitation” have evolved into the concepts of “parenting plans” and “time-sharing schedules”. These plans are meant to be a collaborative effort on the part of both parents to foster a good relationship with the children. Controlled by Florida Statute §61.13, a Parenting Plan is a broad concept that encompasses all of the issues that may arise regarding a minor child, including:
- Responsibility for the daily tasks associated with the upbringing of the child.
- The time-sharing schedule arrangements that specify the time that the minor child will spend with each parent, including holidays and special occasions.
- Which parent will be responsible for any and all forms of healthcare.
- School-related matters, including the address to be used for school boundary determination and registration, extracurricular activities and sports.
- Methods and technologies that the parents will use to communicate with the child.
Parenting Plan Creation is Easier with the Help of an Attorney
The primary consideration of the court when creating a parenting plan is the best interests of the minor child or children. It is generally the policy of the courts that both parents should be encouraged to participate in their child’s life by having frequent contact with the child on a regular basis. Therefore, both parents are typically awarded shared parental responsibility over the child unless the judge finds that there are serious overriding concerns that would be detrimental to the child. To this end, both parents are afforded an opportunity to present evidence on this issue.
“Shared Parental Responsibility” as typically ordered by the Court in a parenting plan is a relationship in which both parents retain full parental rights and responsibilities with respect to their child, but both parents must confer with each other. In this type of arrangement, any major decisions affecting the welfare of the child are determined jointly by both parents. Other types of parental responsibility include:
- Ultimate Decision Making Authority: this is a relationship arrangement in which both parents must confer about major decisions, but one parent ultimately has the power to make the decision.
- Sole Parental Responsibility: this is where one parent retains exclusive authority to make all major decisions regarding the minor child without having to confer with the other parent.
In conjunction with the court’s decision on parental responsibility issues, it may consider other case specific issues regarding the minor children to tailor the order to the specific needs and anticipated needs of each minor child. Such issues may include:
- special health care and emergency health care provisions
- extracurricular activities and expenses associated therewith
- special educational needs
- religious education and participation
- any other unique issues that may pertain to the child
In conjunction with the decisions mentioned above, the court will make a determination about the Time-Sharing Schedule (formerly considered “primary residential/custodial” and “secondary residential/custodial” parent as well as “visitation”). This schedule will dictate the child or children’s access to both parents. This plan should be well thought out and honor the wishes of each parent, because modification of the plan means returning to court. Getting the help of an experienced family law attorney can help you ensure that the time sharing schedule is fair to both you and your ex-spouse. Contact Rechel & Associates, P.A. today to find out more about how we can help with your parenting plan and time sharing agreement.