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What is a parenting plan?

When you get a divorce in Florida, and you have children, Chapter 61 of the Florida Statutes can give you guidance as to what you may expect to happen. Of course, the interests of the children come first, however your interests are also important. Having a parenting plan in place is important.

A parenting plan is a document that you and your ex-spouse create that tells the court what type of relationship you and your ex-spouse have and how you plan to make decisions for the minor children involved. The different elements are timeshare, or who will have the kids when, along with other issues that may come up.

Some of those issues are to spell out what type of education you and your ex-spouse want the kids to have; what type of health care will be used and also how you will promote the children's physical, emotional and social well-being are other issues that need to be addressed.

If you and your spouse cannot seem to work this out ahead of time, the court will step in and make these decisions for you. The judge will look at all aspects of your and your ex-spouse's relationship to include your history, any domestic violence that occurred and any overriding factors such as if one of the parents lives out of the state of Florida.

The parenting plan is usually written by both of the parents involved and is approved by the court. At this juncture, it must be said that having a legal professional in place to assist you can be helpful. This individual will have experience in this area and will know what the court expects to see in the parenting plan. There are several federal and state laws that must be addressed and included in this plan, so knowing this is important.

The judge will want to see that the two of you have been working diligently to get this plan in place. If you think that you cannot work with your spouse, you may need to have mediation with an attorney present. There are options for you to consider.

Source: Florida Statutes, "Chapter 61," accessed Oct. 05, 2015

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