What must be in a parenting plan?

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Unmarried Couples on Friday, October 9, 2015.

One of the most important aspects of any custody arrangement is the parenting plan. Unmarried couples in particular need to make sure that every aspect of the parenting plan is set forth as they agree or as determined by the courts because of the unique set of issues these couples face.

If you are able to agree with your ex on the details of your parenting plan and present this agreement to the courts, this often works best, as the plan will include what both parents deem to be in the best interests of the children. However, Florida law does require that there be some minimum points set forth, and it is important to be aware of these.

A parenting plan must describe how the parents will divide and carry out the day-to-day tasks of raising the children and how the parents plan to communicate regarding the children and any issues that come up. In addition to these points, the parenting plan must include a proposed time-sharing schedule outlining when the children will spend time with each parent. Remember to discuss and determine a plan for holidays and other days of special meaning. Lastly, you will need to include who will be named the residential parent for school district purposes and who will be in charge of health care and education decisions.

If you find that you cannot agree on any of these terms, you will need to go through the the family courts to have a judge make the final decision. Talking with someone about Florida’s laws and the options for your unique situation can help you prepare for this process.

Source: Florida Courts, “Instructions for Florida Supreme Court Approved Family Law Form 12.995(a), Parenting Plan (10/11),” accessed Oct. 09, 2015