Whenever a minor child is involved in a Florida divorce, the court mandates that the parents fill out and agree to a parenting plan. But what exactly is a parenting plan, and what must be included in order to move forward with your divorce? What happens if you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of a parenting plan? At the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg, our Boca Raton divorce attorneys are here to help answer all of your questions regarding parenting plans and the divorce process. Call the office or contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.
What is a Parenting Plan?
A parenting plan is a document that dictates all aspects of timesharing, custody, and other decisions regarding the wellbeing of your child. Parents are encouraged to create a parenting plan together that is then reviewed and approved by the court; however, if the parents cannot agree to the terms of a parenting plan the judge in the case will decide the terms for them. The most basic parenting plan must contain the following information:
- Delineation of parental responsibilities, how they will be shared between parents, and who is responsible for what in the daily upbringing of the child
- The timesharing schedule that dictates the days and times that the child will be with each parent
- Designation of which parent is responsible for major decisions regarding the wellbeing of the child, such as healthcare and medical choices, school-related issues, extracurricular activities, religious decisions, etc.
- The methods and technologies that each parent will use to communicate with their child
Once a parenting plan is created and signed by both parents it is sent to the judge in the divorce for review. The judge weighs a number of factors when reviewing the parenting plan to ensure that the plan is in the best interests of the child. If the judge agrees to the parenting plan it is included in the overall divorce agreement, and if it is not approved the judge will either order the parents to revise the parenting plan or make his own determinations for the case.
Benefits of Creating Your Parenting Plan
There are many benefits to communicating with your spouse and creating your own parenting plan. The most important reason is that it allows you to tailor the timesharing schedule and other important responsibilities in a way that is unique to your family situation. If you cannot agree, the judge in your case usually makes a standard boilerplate decision on the matter that does not take your or your child’s unique circumstances into account. The second benefit of creating your own parenting plan is that it fosters communicate with your spouse. Once the divorce is finalized you will still be required to communicate with your former spouse about your child, and coming together to create a parenting plan lays the foundation for better communication in the future. Finally, creating a parenting plan outside of court often leads to a more detailed and specific parenting plan versus the boilerplate parenting plan a judge gives you—this helps avoid disputes and litigation later down the line.
Talk to Our Office Today
To learn more about making a parenting plan in your Florida divorce, call or contact the Law Offices of David L. Hirschberg in Boca Raton today.